Volkspark Hasenheide, Berlin
ƒ/11.0 @/1000 ISO:200 Daylight & Flash
I love this pretentious title, it represents a break through in my attitude to my own work. I have made these pictures for over ten years, building my need to be creative into a regime of walking and looking. I have trained my eye to see the possibility of pictures wherever I am outside. They have become part of my day dreams. Quite often my vision is not in step with either of my realities,
creative and technical. My equipment is small, compact and hand held. Everything fits into one small bag. To fulfil some of my daydreams I would need about a dozen lights to create the cinematic illusions I have in mind. So I have trained myself to be patient and see what happens.
I have noticed this climbing plant, Clematis virginiana, (also known as Devils Darning Needle) just about everywhere in cities throughout Europe. Usually from the train. I have made several photographs of it, none of which quite hit the spot. This example is growing in Volkspark Hasenheide, about 15 minutes walk from my home in Neukölln and I was aware of it two years before I made this picture. I hadn’t photographed it before for each time I walked past it either there was no cloud of any interest behind it or it just didn’t say “Photograph me.” After two years, it did. This is the first of about thirty files I made on this afternoon, working and reworking the possibilities of this picture. I was
obsessed. I looked at different ways of illuminating the fluff. Waited for the clouds to play there part. I knew I had a picture I was proud of but wouldn’t allow myself to walk away. This is the first picture. I didn’t have the enthusiasm for any of the next pictures.
I learned to be patient, that noticing is an important part of the process. Remembering to revisit a location based on the conditions. And I learned about the part that luck can play in making a photograph. Up until this point I had not really studied photography just looked at pictures. I had a desire to learn more about my adoptive craft, so I was reading Susan Sontag’s On Photography, In
my opinion a masterpiece of writing on this visual art form. I came away full of big ideas and a desire to read more. I was looking at an essay by the Canadian born visual artist in which he jokingly states that there is no such thing as happen chance or luck, it is a question of “An authentic occurrence of circumstances.” Thanks Jeff. I like Jeff.