I’ve been terrible about writing recently, and sometimes I’m afraid I’ve run out of things to say about photography.
Though the other night, I had a moment of clarity.
About a year and a half ago, I started a new project, photographing winter landscapes by night. I was always engaged in making the pictures, though never really had a strategy in place for making sense of it all.
I still haven’t really scanned any of the pictures, so can’t really show what I am thinking, but I now have some guidelines for giving it all form, giving greater shape to the project (these scans are just proofs, for a general impression).
My life was once a joy to me/Never knowing I was growing every day/My life was once a toy to me/And I wound it and I found it, ran away/So I raced through the night/With a face at my feet, like a god I would write/All the melodies were sweet, and the women were white/It was easy to survive/My life was so alive.
Above is a song by Phil Ochs, but I know it by Bonnie Prince Billy. And here in lies my strategy. For these 18 months, I’ve ventured out on winter nights with my camera a headphones to lose myself in the night, and take it all in as a visual experience. And Bonnie Prince Billy records have been a large part of these nights.
The pictures are really a self-examination, looking at my own beauty and darkness. I think a few choice quotes from Will Oldham will help guide the right approach to looking at the pictures. And like Bonnie Prince Billy, the pictures are largely created to evoke a mood, mixing beauty, longing, and darkness. The working title for the project is now By Night (or A Wolf Among Wolves).