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A Vermont Photographer's Thoughts

Winter textures...   March 14, 2012

Winter textures...

At this time of year I usually take my camera out in the woods to capture the transformation caused by winter snows on the landscape. Needless to say this year that has been tough to capture. I have been getting outside, but I began to look at other ways to photograph winter. During one walk I was intrigued by the late day light in the woods. Recently I was intrigued by textures and patterns. A few weeks ago I took a walk at my favorite nature center in Huntington. The Audubon Center still uses pails to collect much its sap for its maple syrup. I could not resist photographing the smooth texture of the pail in contrast to lovely rough bark of the old maples. I was intrigued by the patterns of the sun on the textured spring snow. I loved the way the sun shaped and highlighted the texture of a birch tree.

Next time you are out for a walk with your camera look closely at the textures and patterns around you. What is intriguing about this exercise is that it has you looking close up at things but also backing away and taking a broader view of your surroundings. Have fun.

Reaction to the deaths of journalists in Syria today.   February 22, 2012

I just wrote a long blog about my reaction to the deaths of journalists Marie Colvin and Reni Olclik in Syria this morning. For some reason it was never saved on my site. Essentially I spoke about the importance of the work war journalists do and how we must listen to their stories. They won't let us forget the faces and the lives lost in war. They remind us of the horror when humans turn on each other because of race or religion or ethnicity. They uncover the truths dictators and governments want to hide. They remind us of the cost of our forgetfulness, our not caring, our complacency. I don't know what drives these men and women to face great dangers and risk their lives to make sure we hear and see these stories. I just know that I am grateful that they do.

The last story Marie Colvin posted before she died showed the death of a Syrian toddler killed by shrapnel blast. Marie was reporting from a town in Syria that has been under Syrian government attack for 18 days. When asked by Anderson Cooper about the government's assertion that they were attacking terrorists. Marie said that was a lie. The people being killed are cold and hungry civilians she said.

Marie's death today caused me to pay attention to what is happening in Syria, and ask my government and others why they aren't doing more to intervene before Syria kills more of its children and civilians.






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Living Connections/Hands   February 21, 2012

Living Connections/Hands

Andreas and Tracy at the bagel shop in Burlington.

During 2010 and 2011 I spent some time traveling Vermont taking photos for an exhibit called Living Connection:Voices and Visions from Shared Lives. This exhibit captures the voices and experiences of individuals with and without disabilities. Their shared stories and experiences point out new directions for disability services and reflect the transformative power of inclusion and self advocacy.

I traveled with my friend Deborah Lisi-Baker, who had encouraged me to work on this project with her, and to apply for the grant that funded it. Deborah interviewed the individuals and I photographed them. She is a long time advocate for those who cope with disabilities in their lives.

Our focus was the relationship between individuals with developmental disabilities and those who share their homes, their lives, aid in facilitated conversation, help them find work,play sports, exercise, and just be together.

The experience of photographing these relationships was transformative for me as well. I was overwhelmed with the connections I saw in each pair or group we met. The Vermonters I met shared strong bonds that seemed to me unbreakable. In other words I found an enormous amount of love and respect for each other. I also found laughter.

The final exhibit will include ten panels of text and images that I designed. The photo session I did were not in controlled lighting situations as I would find in my studio. I was shooting candid, flash on camera shots,dealing with whatever obstacles were there. The final session I shot was in a crowded garage with a motorbike in the background during a rain storm! My goal was trying capture the relationships I saw....some of the images are posed...and some were grabbed..some were wonderful accidents. One of the things I looked for during each shot were details of the connections......hands..eyes...touch. When I designed the panels I didn't have room for many of those images. I wanted to share some in this blog.

The exhibit will open in the Statehouse in Montpelier in March.

Harvey providing minimal support as Tracy types...communicates.

Harvey providing minimal support as Tracy types...communicates.

Linda massaging Ronnie\

Linda massaging Ronnie's hands.


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