Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A Visit To / A Visit From / The Island Galapagos #3

Back to the topic of images that resonate with you throughout your life. I saw a painting by Eric Fischl at theWhitney many years ago but it ahs stayed with me and also informed my world as a basic truth.  The Galapagos has had a very hard time during the pandemic. No tourists no income. The people I spoke with told me of the hard times they have had. Rice, beans, yucca, and fish. As I was hiking in a forest of Palo Santo trees and Chandelier cactus I came upon an open beach. This is what saw. Not much changes, huh?

Eric Fischl, A Visit To / A Visit From / The Island, 1983
Susan Shaw, To and From the Island, 2021

Monday, September 20, 2021

Thinking about Ansel Adams

There was lots of opportunity to photograph the landscape in the Galapagos. It's emptiness floating some 800 miles out in the open ocean propelled flashbacks of the early photographers exploring the American West. I was lucky enough to meet some of them as a young woman. I even worked in Ansel Adams' darkroom. I admit, it drove me sort of crazy because he had you rock the trays of developer and fixer in time to a metronome. But times have really changed. No darkroom for me. Instead of an giant, heavy 8x10 view camera, I used my new phone, a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which has a 100x optical zoom. Other than photographer error, my pictures are incredibly sharp--no mushy pixelation of digital zoom for me, and I didn't have to spend hours in a smelly dark room. Ansel would have loved it. So much control with every aspect of the photograph from shooting raw, to Photoshop retouching to printing on a high end printer, One of mine, a Canon IPF 8100, uses 12 color inks and can print an image to 44 inches by 100 feet at the touch of a button. Admittedly, the largest I ever printed was 44 inches by 18 feet but there is that possibility... And I am privileged to see, not unlike those who experienced horse to jet like my Grandmother, the change from chemical to digital in my lifetime.

P.S. I even saw a traffic cone in the landscape, which turned out to be a 20+ foot structure sitting on an extinct volcano.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Two Birds and a Baby Moose

Taken in 2014, here are a few of my personal favorite animal portraits. From Denali, Alaska to Grahamsville, New York--ain't life grand? 


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

 Roughly translated, "What goes around comes around." Sifting through my archives in search of something else, I discovered these two photographs, one by Andy Warhol from 1958 and one by myself from 2014.

I know it's NPC these days, nonetheless I wish it were a case of great minds, but I think it is only a case of vague visual memory somewhere in the ether.