When I was leading a recent workshop at St. Andrews House on Hood Canal, I had the opportunity to view a new art installation by Sarah Jane, a talented and inspired artist who also serves as the Art Program Manager of the Grunewald Guild, Plain, Washington.
As described on the mere objects website: "Mere Objects is a participatory art project designed to honor and empower people who have experienced sexual violence, and to increase awareness of sexual violence within our communities. It was launched in October 2016 by artist and educator Sarah Jane, in collaboration with an advisory group of survivors of sexual violence."
It is a moving, sad, but enlightening art project dealing with an issue that is front and center today, but has been with us forever. I had the opportunity to photograph a small portion of the piece, adding a sense of motion to expand the universe of the piece to beyond just the 200 or so glass beads currently part of the exhibit. The photographs can be seen in the "Mere Objects" Gallery. And additional information can be found at: https://www.mereobjects.org/ It's an important project and I hope you take the opportunity to learn more about it.
Check out the student documentary short video (#6) among the thirteen NYT's posts. All worthwhile, but the student one can give us all hope for the next generation of photographers and may even inspire our own work.
For the third consecutive year, I've followed the suggestion of John Paul Caponigro and have reviewed my photos for the year. John's suggestion is to identified your a)best photo, b)your second best, and c)the next ten and d)find the common threads among them. Its an exercise in editing, and in seeing the direction a photographer is taking over time. I encourage you to do the same. Without further ado, here goes:
Wow - when I contemplated doing it this year, I thought I would struggle to find 12 shots worthy of being the year's bests. But, when I actually reviewed 1700 or so photos taken this past year, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a good year photographically for me. (Hopefully for you too!) My favorite for the year was taken early in 2017 as I walked around Seattle's Pioneer Square. The young woman's pink hair amongst the outdoor tables just stood out for me. Desaturating all of the colors in Lightroom except red/magenta resulted in this final image.
Now, my second best was a bit more difficult to determine. But I ultimately had to go with one of my first composite photographs - leaves from Spokane's Japanese Garden overlayed on the Stonehenge Veteran's Memorial on the Washington side of the Columbia River. I felt it just worked and was one of two photos that I used on our holidays cards. Branching out, trying new things, listening to the muse.
OK, now for the other ten photos that I felt best represented my work during the year. The first two were taken at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico this past April. Keeping with the monochromatic scheme was weaves its way through many of this year's 12 photographs, White Sands is best portrayed in its starkness.
Next comes two photos taken at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup this past September. One of my familiar themes is motion and what better place to experiment with motion than the fair's midway.
OK, the next one is important in that I was photographing on behalf of the Bainbridge Island group of Partners in Health, an amazing not for profit involved in international healthcare. It was taken during the island's Fourth of July parade.
Now come four photos taken during another "first" for me - a photo series for use in publicity for a new physical therapy/massage business on the island - Healing Motion PT. Deanna was amazing to work and we both loved the results.
For the final photo, I go back to the composite work, again featuring the Stonehenge Veterans Memorial, this time coupled with the Pacific Ocean just north of Manzanita, Oregon.
So, is there a recurring theme? Well, not really just one (other than responding to the muse!). But monochrome, people, and motion seem to be the three themes of the year. I can see where I headed off in some new directions, while continuing to enjoy creating photographs that improve upon past work. That's what I call a good year!