Category Archives: photography

Three enigmas

Some photographs resist simple interpretation, even when their ostensible subject matter (ice, sand, rock…) is clear. Sometimes it’s possible to imagine a figure or a face, but even the most fertile imagination runs up against limits now and again, and one is tugged into surreal territory. Here are three such that I’m puzzling over, from a trip to Drift Inn a few days ago:

almost Arcimboldoesque, a right-facing head ?


? a demonic cocktail shaker ? a flamingo executing a jeté ?

scale indeterminate: ? a view outward toward the Cosmos? satellite view of a caldera?


The term ‘revenant imagery’ seems handy for bits of déjà vu that resonate in memory. Thus:


My first thought when this came up on the computer screen was “absolutely The Duchess from Alice in Wonderland!” in the Tenniel illustration. And sure enough the retrieved Google image is almost perfect:

liquid Form

I’ve been thinking that I should explore water in its liquid phase, but I want to avoid the clichéed stuff of falling water and flowing streams, and address more directly the forms and the energies within. This morning as I was reading Christopher Williams’ Origins of Form: The Shape of Natural and Man-made Things―Why They Came to Be the Way They Are and How They Change it occurred to me that these two photographs were about the same thing, which might be sketched as ‘fluid dynamics’:


Shubenacadie sediment post-processed

(the original image of the latter was much less dramatic)
Shubenacadie sediment

and here’s another Shubenacadie River sediment shot,
taken at the same time and reprocessed today for dramatic effect:
Shubenacadie sediment


Twenty Meters of Rocks: Revisiting the Same Spot Multiple Times (Ole Henrik Skjelstad) is a lovely meditation on Place, with 17 quite stunning early-morning photographs of sunrise from a Norwegian beach. They are ‘landscape photography’ and so in a different realm than what I experience looking down at the rocks on the 30-odd meters of the Drift Inn beach that I frequent, but the point of seeing different things with each return is beautifully made. I see the Usual Suspects again and again, but they are subtly different every time:



It doesn’t work the same way with ice in the Drift Inn ponds, which are never the same from visit to visit, but the locale keeps drawing me back to see what might be new. At the moment the ponds are dry, so we’ve been exploring other water margins. This froggy being exemplifies:


Bestiary and Exegetical Sketchbook

I’m making a space to accumulate material for a future Blurb book, continuing from WYGIWYS, at and expecting that it will include the work I’m beginning to do with Adobe Draw. Just how it will be laid out and organized, and how its workflow will look, will take some experimenting. The basic idea is to develop an effective means to display what I see and to record the process of learning to refine the initial outline sketches into something like elegance.

At the moment there’s almost nothing there, but I’m working on it. Meanwhile, two of yesterday’s images:

(a large-mouthed frog, perhaps?)

(and this one appears to be a rather grumpy Persian kitty swimming under water)

Flowers Cove

This one probably should have made it into WYGIWYS:


It was taken in the White Rocks Extension of Flowers Cove, Newfoundland, in mid-August 2019. We did hundreds of photographs there, in a magical landscape of limestone and thrombolites. A few more of them: