Huge loss for photography today with the death of Shomei Tomatsu. His quiet, personal approach to national devastation inspired an entire generation of photographers, filmmakers, and writers.
All photos by Shomei Tomatsu:
House 9, Amakusa Shimoshima Island, Kumamoto Prefecture, 1959
From: The Skin of the Nation
“Time Stopped at 11:02, 1945, Nagasaki,” 1961, and “Bottle Melted and Deformed by Atomic Bomb Heat, Radiation, and Fire, Nagasaki,” 1961
A huge loss. Magnificent artist.
A supercell thunderstorm rolls across the Montana prairie at sunset.
Credit: Sean Heavey
I’ve driven through one of these on the eastern edge of Montana. They’re awfully wonderful to be enveloped in unless you’re driving your father-in-law’s camper van with two sleeping children and a terrified wife! Just awesome.
What a magnificent few minutes of bird watching. I’m not a birder, per se, but the breadth and array of birds in Spain is remarkable — so many species and types of habitats. The filmmaker must have traveled thousands of miles getting these shots:
- Riglos and Valle de Tena (Pyrenees, Huesca)
- Bardenas Reales (Navarra)
- Montes de Toledo and Andújar (Jaén)
- Albufera de Valencia and Dénia
- Tablas de Daimiel (Ciudad Real) and Doñana (Huelva)
- Coast of Murcia and Almeria
- Bubo bubo
- Gypaetus barbatus
- Tichodroma muraria
- Chersophilus duponti
- Otis tarda
- Falco naumanni
- Pterocles orientalis
- Bucanetes githagineus
- Cercotrichas galactotes
- Aquila adalberti
- Sylvia hortensis
- Aegypius monachus
- Cyanopica cyana
- Galerida theklae
- Sturnus unicolor
- Dryocopus martius
- Dendrocopos leucotos
- Phylloscopus bonelli
- Serinus citrinella
- Montifringilla nivalis
- Pyrrhocorax graculus
- Prunella collaris
- Luscinia svecica
- Merops apiaster
- Upupa epops
- Circus pygargus
- Larus genei
- Porphyrio porphyrio
- Oxyura leucocephala
- Marmaronetta angustirostris
- Phoenicopterus ruber-Platalea leucorodia
- Grus grus
Now isn’t this fascinating! We’re all well acquainted with the only photo of Emily Dickinson known to exist, the daguerreotype of her as a 16-year-old girl taken in 1847 (right).
Now, it appears a second daguerreotype of the reclusive poet has made its way to Amherst College by way of a dedicated collector. But this one, taken in 1859, shows her in a different light as a young woman in her mid-20s sitting with a friend, Kate Scott Turner:
“If the daguerreotype is eventually accepted as Dickinson, it will change our idea of her, providing a view of the poet as a mature woman showing striking presence, strength, and serenity. She (whoever she is) seems to be the one in charge here, the one who decided that on a certain day in a certain year, she and her friend would have their likenesses preserved. In fact, even if this photograph is not of Dickinson and Turner, it has still been of use in forcing us to imagine Dickinson as an adult, past the age of the ethereal-looking 16-year-old we have known for so many years.”
The Guardian reports on the extent to which the daguerreotype has been analyzed right down to the “corneal curvature” and the “hair cowlick.” Don’t you just love a mystery? Here’s your chance to be the verifying link.
“Good things come from a quiet place: study, prayer, music, transformation, worship, communion. The words ‘peace’ and ‘quiet’ are all but synonymous, and are often spoken in the same breath. A quiet place is the think tank of the soul, the spawning ground of truth and beauty.
A quiet place outdoors has no physical borders or limits to perception. One can commonly hear for miles and listen even farther. A quiet place affords a sanctuary for the soul, where the difference between right and wrong becomes more readily apparent. It is a place to feel the love that connects all things, large and small, human and not; a place where presence of a tree can be heard. A quiet place is a place to open up all your senses and come alive.”
—Gordon Hempton, from One Square Inch of Silence
Photo by Eden Politte/Flickr, cc by-nc 2.0
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor
I pitched Gordon Hempton for an interview with Krista Tippett after reading his interview with Leslie Goodman in The Sun. I had never thought about quiet in quite the way he pointed — not just as the absence of noise, but the presence of everything from that place. Quiet can be cacophonous!
Krista’s interview finally came to fruition and was one of the most delightfully quirky conversations I’ve experienced from behind the glass. Of course, the man who “tracks” sound for a living is a producer, but he’s truly been formed by his many years of listening to quiet. He’s passionate about his mission, and has his finger on the pulse of something most of us don’t contemplate until we’re faced with the idea. Then we know what he’s got his finger on
Check out these two posts in my Facebook feed. Sometimes my social streams present me with the most lovely juxtapositions, or, as they might say in the radio business, “adjacencies.” The images at top are from my cousin Bobby, who lives in Williston, North Dakota and captured an oncoming storms with her camera. The single image below is a painting of a storm front from Sharon Kingston, who is based out of Seattle, if I remember correctly. They are so similar in color and angle, but have some subtle differences that distinguish themselves. So very cool.
Just love the dynamic motion of this image with the static canes and the color saturation.
“Late adventures at Arco de São Jorge”
Searching for lead images for our upcoming show “The Far Shore of Aging” with Jane Gross and happened upon this lovely image. Be prepared for more posts of this brilliant photographer’s work in the coming days and months. Fantastic.
(photo: alex@Tlön/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor
Kholoud Al Ajarma, a Palestinian woman who coordinates the arts and media activities for the Lajee Center, whom we met and interviewed while reporting within Aida refugee camp in the West Bank city of Bethlehem this past March. What a gift to meet her and take her photo, along with many others while working there. (photo: Trent Gilliss)