Starting August 14, some of my photos will be hanging at Strut on Greenwood here in Seattle. Yesterday, while watching the photos for the show come off my friend’s amazing printer, a thought hit me: I hope I never, ever forget the experience of taking these photos.
I’m not talking technique: the lens I used, the exact shutter speed. No, what I’d most hate to misplace is the memory of what made me want to take these photos in the first place.
In this photo, what I hope to always remember is beauty’s interruption of what should have been a forgettably routine moment: opening the door of our minivan so that our kids could climb inside. Instead, I was lucky to look down and notice a fallen evergreen cone in the street gutter, half-submerged in the sort of mesmerizing, oil-slicked puddle that helps to poison Puget Sound.
I’d probably be a better person if I could report that I took this photo to capture the juxtaposition of cone and pollution, of the next generation of tree life thwarted by pavement and petrochemicals. Really, though, I took this photo because I couldn’t not take this photo, because I couldn’t turn away from the fallen cone, from the sheen of the nasty pollution, from the dark-and-light interplay caused by the shadow our minivan cast over part of the puddle.
There is much more I could say about this photo. And I did. As an experiment in the sincerest form of flattery, I tried last night to record the kind of podcast my friend Jeff Curto so ably puts out. I assembled a slideshow of this and other images from that afternoon and narrated it, trying to give a concise, accessible account of where the photo came from. I talked for 17 minutes, which was at least 14 minutes too long.
Tonight I recorded something a lot shorter. I’m in the process of figuring out how to turn the photos and the narration into a single video. When I do, I’ll post a link.
My show opens August 14 as part of Art Up, the vibrant monthly art walk in the Phinney-Greenwood business district. The opening runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at Strut, 7511 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA, 98103. Everyone is welcome. My photos will stay up until September 10. Prints, framed prints, canvas prints, and cards of the photos from the show are available for purchase here.