“Darkness and Light”

All photographs are accurate. None of them is truth.

Richard Avedon

The title to this post is part of an original from a documentary about photographer, Richard Avedon. In the early ’90s, Helen Whitney directed a film for American Masters [the PBS TV series celebrating artists from a variety of disciplines], “Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light.”

 There are moments behind the lens/viewfinder where I get into a ying-yang state-of-mind. Specifically, I look to minimize technical aspects of taking a photograph and think, “Is the light seeking to take over the dark, or is the dark attempting to consume the light?”

As Fen Shui is to objects, why then can’t we do the same when trying to harmonize light and dark?

Summer Sea Wings

It was the earliest summer day I could remember in a long while. And it wasn’t even summer. Temperature records broke yesterday; it was 92F [33C] just about everywhere in New England save for points just south of Canada’s border. This early visit of hot weather “took” me to the sea shore.

They’re not particularly pretty. Their singing voice is far from being one though instantly recognizeable. They can make a mess of things in parking lots, boardwalks, the top of cars and awnings. But when they’re in the air, well, that’s a whole other matter. They are graceful gliders and with a even a mild wind, they’ll hover effortlessly in place.

This isn’t traditional birding by any means, but it’s close enough for me. Sea gulls could make good marketers. They can cover a lot of ground in a given area [market size]; they can quickly spot food at a distance [target audience] and they are persistent if not persnickety [a certain interactive style and management approach].

If they had an awareness for all things sartorial, sea gulls would have a certain spezzatura, a level of nonchalance, bravado and dare I say, a quiet confidence that fits their environs and the season they thrive in. They wear white, off-white or cream with contrasting shades of grey, black and brown. It’s always in style, en vogue for summer.

They don’t have the panache of a peacock, the grandeur of the golden eagle or the pixie-ness of the hummingbird. You would think that their commonality would make them the poster child of avian commodities. No, the standard bearer to that claim would be the nearly ubiquitous pigeon…followed by the sparrow.

Yes, sea gulls have become more audacious on a crowded beach, but who, if anyone, could resist an open bag of potato chips? Or Smart Food Popcorn[tm] or—an all-time favorite—Goldfish Crackers! Cut them some slack this summer. They are reminders that it’s time to put some block on your nose rather than have it at the familiar grindstone.