Create: The Still Life

This is why I like digital. I don’t love digital like I love film, might never, but that’s okay. I still like digital and that’s enough. I might not have ever shot this image on film. I won’t do anything with it, other than maybe put a small print in my journal. But that’s reason enough maybe.

This is all her. Small things, kept, stored and then finally released into our little world, each with a meaning I might know nothing about. I have few, she has many, and the number keeps growing. That’s called a relationship. Ebbs and flows like the tide, the wind, and the dust on long-lost artifacts.

These days I make a lot of notes. And films, and posts. I make them for me, for you, for her, for others. It’s my life now. Always churning things out. Sometimes I focus because I know what I’m making might contain something, something good. Other times it’s routine, a workout. Humping loads. Up and then down and up again.

People ask what I’d be doing if I wasn’t doing this. I’d be doing the exact same thing. What else am I gonna do?

16 Comments on “Create: The Still Life”

  1. I love this, Dan. I’m trying to find a vent for a lot of pent up creativity.

    I have three long term documentary projects I was just getting into, this was going to be their year. Plans were made; access, the most elusive of friends, was beginning to come through. This doesn’t compare to the loss so many have suffered, but in some way I feel in mourning for what might have been.

    I need another vent, still life fits with the increasing isolation we’re all experiencing.

    1. Nigel,
      So much we can do in isolation. Write the stories behind the images. Work with mixed media. Try conceptual. The long term projects are going to need a break for a while….

  2. Yes. Thanks for asking. We got back a day before Australia introduced compulsory self-isolation and a few days before they closed the borders. Are you OK? Can you go out and hike/cycle?

    Japan closed schools and the doors to sports and music fans etc. at the beginning of March but until this morning the government has had it’s head in the sand trying to protect the Olympics. Thankfully it looks like the stubborn fools in government have finally accepted reality. If the numbers stay the same then Japan may have dodged a bullet but that’s more than likely wishful thinking.

    1. sean,
      You are light years ahead of us. We are only worried about the market nad have a total buffoon at helm, someone who invents drug cocktails he “feels like” will work. We are in for a massive outbreak here. Glad you are good. We are able to get out, hiking mostly.

  3. That is some beautiful light. And as usual, the words match nicely. Hope you two are doing well in NM.

    I mentioned in another comment that I was recently there. I’m too big a World War Z, Contagion, yada yada yada “fan” to have missed COVID. I was watching it in Dec and Jan from Arizona hoping it would peter out like SARS and MERS (relatively, of course; not discounting the hardships of those two). I drove back to Seattle from Phoenix and kept an eye on it.

    Committed to an early March trip to Taos about a year ago. Up until the last minute I had my finger on the cancel button. In the end I went, not unthinkingly. The Seattle hot zone might (might!) be a little anomalous, given the senior center start and the Kirkland location. I went for a few days, probably came within 6 feet of 5 people, washed my hands constantly, and came back. I am fascinated by the public policy experts and have been obsessing over the numbers/data. Wish now I hadn’t gone, but my social distancing skills are strong. Not as strong as my rambling skills. A return to the southwest is in my future, probably the fall. If I can avoid Phoenix, that’d be great. Flagstaff, Sedona, and Jerome are potentials. Are there any areas/neighborhoods in SF you’d recommend looking at?

    1. Scott,
      Wow. Quite a trip. We should all be in full lockdown now but we can’t seem to get out of our own way. So much misinformation and people making up narratives they want to live by. As for SF, it’s tiny. You can see entire city in one day, at least in terms of neighborhoods but this is a strange place unlike any of those other areas. Some like it, many come and dont’ last. Also, dont’ sleep on The ABQ. That place is booming, is very inexpensive and very interesting.

      1. I agree. I’ve been in 90% isolation since getting back to Seattle in early March. I leave the house for walks and to get more quarantine food. Can only buy what I can carry. Need to drive to the store and knock out a longer term food buy. I wish the stores earlier on had gone to prepared boxes. I think most of us can get by with generic boxes of caloric intake, leave the inside foot traffic for people with more specific needs. Helps protect the grocery store workers and more vulnerable groups.

        As a flailing documentary photographer I feel like I’m not doing enough. There are some amazing working photojournalists here in Seattle covering aspects of this that I think we’ll want (safely) documented. And I think they are doing it safely. If any of you follow Seattle/WA news, check out Megan Farmer’s work.

        1. Scott,
          Smart idea about the food and it might comes to that at some point. Many ways of covering this thing. Writing, shooting at home. Etc.

  4. Love the delicate nature of this image -lovely.
    Something that has been a side project for years, also used as the equivalent of a musician practicing scales, but now it’s front and center. I’ve turned to looking more intently at everything in the house. Watching the changes in light, seasons, time.
    Would love to be out in the city, along the lakeshore capturing the isolation, but I’m in the wrong age group to be doing so.

    1. Mark,
      Just got a book made by a friend here in Santa Fe. All about the same location over four seasons. It’s so simple and yet so stunning.

  5. SF and NM in general hold a special place in my soul. Only spent a week or so there, but have wanted to go back ever since. Memories of a painter from France telling me the light was no good that morning near the town square, sharing a dinner and a bottle of wine a few days later, discussing painting vs photography. Abiquiu and the purple hills, the high plains, echoes of O’Keefe in the colors of the desert. Some day soon, we will go back. You could spend a few lifetimes there exploring the stories waiting to be told. In the meantime, I need to dig out those old negatives and slides, may be something there to build upon.

    1. Mark,
      For sure. And with time your negs will look different. I have no plans of really doing much outside of New Mexico for the foreseeable future. Unless I get a sailboat.

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