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This is our backyard.

©2009 by Richard X. Moore

Not in total, of course. It’s a slice of our backyard, which is a fairly typical suburban setting, with a garden and a little barn and kids toys strewn everywhere, a porch and a garden swing, and a fence to enclose it all. It’s chaos. Wires are strung everywhere, along the rear boundary of the property, across our yard, across the neighbor’s yards. It’s a visual nightmare when you try and take it all in, so much so that I’ve stopped trying to take it all in.

Every once in awhile, my eye just settles someplace and I see not the jangled mess of “things,” both natural and man made, but visual elements coming together in ways that cause me to linger. Sometimes I go and fetch my camera, sometimes I just think about getting my camera and never get around to it.

©2010 by Richard X. Moore

A lot of my photography has been made this way, just looking. If you contemplate the same place over and over again, you’ll start seeing things you never realized were there. The light is always a little different, things grow and wither and die, and rain or snow may fall. Sometimes, things come together in just the right way. If you spend enough moments not looking for an image, an image will make itself known to you, then another, then another.

©2010 by Richard X. Moore

It’s a lot different from the times I deliberately build an image, like my still-lifes, and ultimately a lot more satisfying for me overall. One reason for this is that my still-lifes don’t often work, and some of them are actually stupid, so I’m told. The images that I find, or maybe that find me, don’t often work either, but it’s a different thing entirely. It’s not effort that brings them to me but some kind of meditation, like drifting down a river and drinking in the sights and sounds around you. Even if you see nothing that you’d ever remember, you’re better for having made the journey, enriched by the time you’ve spent.


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