Monday, October 5, 2009

Inspirations #17: Edward Weston and the Marx Brothers

I was out photographing with my friend, John Prouty, this past Sunday morning.

John takes his photography seriously. He is very contemplative in his approach to photography and when viewing photographs. He photographs with 4x5 and 8x10 cameras. I'll post some of his work in a very near future post. Back to Sunday.

We were driving around very early. It was the first "nice" Sunday we've had here in the Phoenix area since the late Spring. The temperature was very comfortable in the morning. I had a few places I wanted to photograph so we went to them while the light was nice. I will post them soon, as well.

On one of our last stops we went to the Rio Salado Habitat, south of downtown Phoenix. This is a revitalized riparian habitat where they have begun to revive the Salt River as it once flowed through Phoenix a long time ago. Most people don't know that Phoenix started out as a riverside community. Once they dammed the rivers upstream to provide drinking water, the river only ran seasonally when they had to release water if the reservoirs approached capacity, which isn't often. They had to do it a summer or two ago. Anyway, there are patches of river coming back to life. At the Central Ave. parking area they have a "pond" next to the lot, I guess for the kids. There are ducks and small fish, maybe frogs. But it looked like it could use some TLC this past Sunday. There was this congregation of broken reeds, garbage and duck feathers in one corner. We stopped to look at it. I took this shot with my Nikon D300 and then decided to go back to the car and get the 8x10" camera. By the time I got back (less than a minute later) the breeze and current from the filtration system had shifted everything and broken the composition. So I have this digital image, at least.

It reminds me of the Edward Weston photograph, Tide Pool, Pt. Lobos, 1945, which I have a gravure of in my home.

Tide Pool, Pt. Lobos, 1945 by Edward Weston

Now, how do the Marx Brothers figure into this? I call the image "Horse Feathers".

I will post large format work from this weekend as soon as I get to process the film and have the chromes done at the lab.

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