Thursday, April 03, 2014

Pictures in the Sand

When I started taking these pictures, I was mostly playing around with circles in the sand.  I'd wanted to draw some straight lines, but I didn't have a good straight edge with me.

I thought I might be able to use yarn, but the wind was so strong it blew the yarn ball halfway down the beach and pulled any exposed strand into a catenary arch.  When I saw how the string's shadow could be a straight line, I tried to play with it.
Something about the conjunction of a compass, circles in the sand, shadows, string and my hand spoke to me -- I had accidentally bumped into a Greek myth with Daedalus, Ariadne and the Labyrinth.  Finding the right configuration of images became very important.

And then the sun started to set, and clouds diffused the light and I lost the shadow of the string.

If I were doing this again, I would have wanted to photograph someone else's hands, or maybe have someone photograph me because I had difficulties holding the string, holding the camera, looking through the camera, getting the strings shadow right, getting the design in the shot, keeping the camera lens cap or the camera strap from fluttering into the photo, working the rock into the design, keeping the compass in the shot, and not stepping all over the design in the sand.  All the time fighting to keep melancholy songs from Sting's The Soul Cages out of my head by singing quasi-mystic songs from We Three.

To me, the photos are trying to balance the themes of, finding one's place, finding one's way, impermanence and mortality, and the interplay between perception and point-of-view.  And I really wanted a strong image that was a self-portrait without showing my face.

But... in the end, I ended up taking a photo of myself anyway.

The whole set is here:

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