Sunday worked out to be a fine day for making photographs. I left the farm at 0700 and my first stop was the Presque Isle River outside of Marinesco, off US-2, for some medium format work with the Rolleiflex 3.5F and Tri-X. Then off to the middle branch of the Ontonagon River, above and below Bond Falls where I shot both medium and large format color work with Portra 160 (Rolleiflex) and Portra 400 (4x5 pinhole). My final location on the way home was the Union River Gorge in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness. A total of six 4x5 film holders were exposed, as well as two rolls of Portra 160 (120 format) and one roll of Tri-X (120 format). I will be developing each evening for a number of days. Seems like after getting home from the clinic, feeding Benny, myself, and getting some physical exercise in (gym, walking, or both), I am sometimes to fatigued to concentrate sufficiently to develop negatives successfully.
Unlike Saturday, with 25 mph winds, snow, and freezing temperatures, Sunday was lightly overcast and a balmy 44F by noon. There is nothing more relaxing for me than to load the RAV4 with photo gear, a thermos of hot coffee, and be bound to no specific destination. While I do work on projects (my Winter River Videography project of few years back comes to mind), there is something to be said about creativity which can emanate from freedom to be inspired by whatever comes your way in the moment.
I often make multiple images at a favorite location to create a sensitive evocation of place over time. I have photographed the above stretch of river across all seasons, and in various moods within a season. For example, in a few short weeks, the river will begin to embark on a winter journey, displaying ice and snow formations, surrounding rocks and other structures, which change not only daily, but hourly. These unfolding stories preclude boredom and enhance creativity.
“If the photographer isn't going to pay attention to the picture he is making, that if he thinks the camera is just a machine and not an avenue of expression, then he has no business asking anyone for anything, let alone their time and interest. Don't show the world, he said, invent the world.”
― Whitney Otto, Eight Girls Taking Pictures