Sunday, March 30, 2008
This is a photograph titled "Outlet" from 2007 taken not long after my father's sudden death. With the prospects of having to sell the family farm in my mind, I had been documenting through photography every mundane detail of the different buildings and reminders of my Dad. Each visit to Wisconsin would see change as my brother cleaned out junk and sold equipment. This particular visit came after a massive cleaning of the second level of the barn and grainery. What had been filled to the rafters with mechanical and farm ephemra was now almost completely cleared out. When I found some time alone I explored the big empty space with my camera looking for any small treasure that may have been overlooked. To my surprise, as I studied this beam looking for old writing on the wood I saw the business card tucked behind the light switch with some measurement scribblings written by my dad. The lighting was all wrong with the only natural light coming from in front of me but somehow the photo turned out.
My camera seems to be my 'eye' these days. A tool that I came to use prolifically, only fairly recently. I don't worry about f-stops, apertures or shutter speeds. I just point and shoot and do all the post processing work in Photoshop. I like to take pictures that chronicle my travels and adventures and have amassed quite an interesting collection over the last two years. This particular picture was taken in Pennsylvania at a disused train stop, behind a hardware store, of all places. I asked permission to go behind the store to take the photos and one of the owners was very happy to tell me about each and every sleeping train and it's local story! Way more than JUST a photo!
Peggi Meyer Graminski
"Garden Canyon Dainty Grasses"
Garden Canyon Dainty Grasses is probably my favorite photo I've ever taken. My Dad and I went on what was to be our last photo expedition before he passed away, and this is the last photo I took that day. I love the delicate appearance to the grasses, and how they look like they are dancing in the sunlight. I use various parts of this photo in many of my digital collages - sort of as an artistic "staple", I suppose.
I’ve sent along one image, along with two rough images from that shoot, that is a favourite of mine. It’s titled, P., for my friend, Patty, who was the model for this image. The photograph is part of my Spirit series from several years ago. The series was inspired by the Mexican festival, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The festival’s views on death – that it could become a day of remembering and celebrating a loved one’s life after they have passed on - helped me gain a new perspective concerning my own father’s death. Visually, I was inspired by Wim Wender’s gorgeous film, Wings of Desire, and by a portrait of an oil worker by photographer Richard Avedon, and by miscellaneous images of dance performances and fashion I have collected and seen over the years.
It was late afternoon on a summer day when Patty and I went to a beach in Toronto, Canada, to photograph this image. The sun was slowly setting and everything was cast in unbelievably soft blues, purples and pinks. I had a vague idea of what I wanted in the photographs: I wanted Patty to be next to the water and/or to the concrete barrier separating the lake from the boardwalk. She was to wear a skull image painted in rough strokes on her face and also the torn, gauzy dress I had made specifically for this photograph. For the most part, however, and as it often happens, the collaboration between the two of us brought something new that I hadn’t foreseen or planned. When Patty started to move, like a dancer, in her own thoughts without worrying whether or not she was giving me what I was expecting, that’s when the "magic" happened.