JUST LOOKING

I was just looking

as always.

later, I found connections between the photos.

the connections may not be obvious – the

images were made

with different cameras

at different times and places.

you could say they were all

made with the same mind,

same hands, but

I don’t think so.

not exactly.

a thread connects the pictures

but

in spite of some inchoate commonality,

each image was made with a new

batch of molecules, a rearrangement of

electrons, a fresh tumble of light and brain

cells. it’s different every time

but the images connect with each other.

just looking. always

looking.

*

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

11.

12.

13.

14.

15.

16.

***

The photos were made between 2008 & 2021, by keeping my eyes open. πŸ™‚

If you’re curious:

  1. Looking up at peoples’ feet on a staircase at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, NY.
  2. View through a curtained window, somewhere north of New York City.
  3. Corner of 33 Rd. & 10th St., Long Island City, NY.
  4. Bamboo and curtained window at the Center for Urban Horticulture; Seattle, WA.
  5. Watercolor paints and photos on a table seen with a jiggled camera.
  6. Close-up of package mailed multiple times between Britain & USA.
  7. Isamu Noguchi sculpture & shadows; Noguchi Museum, NYC.
  8. Orchid and roots at the University of Washington Botany Greenhouse, Seattle, WA.
  9. Old keys from the William E. Dodge House (built 1863 in Riverdale, NY) on an antique desk.
  10. A rust-ridden hoop found on a beach in Staten Island, NY, then hung on a wall shaded by window blinds.
  11. A rock at Kubota Garden; Seattle, WA.
  12. Part of a dock at Deception Pass State Park, WA.
  13. Hanging sculpture made from shells at an airbnb; Leiden, Netherlands.
  14. Snow and porch railing; Fidalgo Island, WA.
  15. Metal sculpture on a wall at an airbnb; Phoenix, AZ.
  16. A display involving hanging, translucent printed fabric and a photograph; ABC Carpet & Home, NY, NY.


64 comments

  1. “just looking as always” has a completely innocent sound that does not go at all with your refined photos which seem to know all the tricks.
    But if you say so … the innocent view shows you and us wonders of beauty.
    You are a master of playful, bewitching magic by just perceiving what we all could see, but we don’t, until you point your camera to it.
    A kaleidoscope of marvels this is (and can you tell me why I especially like your no.5?πŸ˜‰).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course, it’s a double meaning, or maybe triple. In zen the word “just” is used a lot and always signifies an essence, in this case, it would be that one is fully engaged in looking to the exclusion of other activities. But when we go shopping we say, ‘Oh, I’m just looking.” πŸ™‚
      You’re very kind to say that I manage to create a little magic by showing you something you wouldn’t necessarily have seen, and there’s no doubt that I like to do that. And you do, too. πŸ˜‰
      πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ #5 is the really old photo here, taken three houses ago if I were to count time in places lived. Naturally, you like seeing those paints! πŸ˜‰
      Thank you…happy Monday, what’s left of it!

      Like

      • Thank you, Lynn!
        This ZEN meaning of just fits in what I think about your photographing, Lynn. And in our best moment, we feel it while shooting, when the flow tells us we’re fine and in one with the subject we’re aiming at, right?
        Happy Monday for you, too – you’ve got 9 hours more of it left than me. πŸ™‚

        Like

  2. Inchoate has an interesting etymology: https://www.etymonline.com/word/inchoate

    Your mention of Riverdale reminds me that while nearby Marble Hill isn’t on the island of Manhattan, it is part of the borough of Manhattan. The borough’s boundary jumps over Spuyten Duyvil to include that little bit of what is geographically the Bronx mainland.

    Is there anything in particular that prompted you to do a primarily nan-nature post this time? I like the sandwich of shadow, real, and shadow in #7, and you also have an alternation of mesh, non-mesh, and mesh in #15. There’s a one-link-greater alternation in #14 (which you could’ve been in Austin for last week). Pareidolia in #11 has me seeing an orchestra conductor with a sinuous baton facing to the right. The wispy figure on the left in #16 has a hairy arm. In #4 you bamboozled me into not realizing what the linear elements were till I read the caption.

    Regarding #10, I think many abstract photographers are fond of window blind shadows; I know I am, whether they fall on objects or people (in fact I keep postponing an unaccustomed post with two such pictures). You did well in having a rusty ring offer contrast to the regularity of all those dark parallel lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the etymology link – I have liked that word for a long time. Yes, the odd Manhattan/Bronx boundary…good old Spuyten Duyvil…now I’m remembering drives down the Henry Hudson Parkway with the view of the GW Bridge. Not the same now though.
      What prompted me, in particular, was a desire to give space to images that aren’t nature-based, simple as that. I saw a post somewhere of an assortment of images bound together only by color and that got me going. Most of these are quiet and brownish, though not all. I didn’t see the connection you saw between the sculpture & shadows and that other sculpture – interesting.
      I had to look closely myself to remember what I was photographing in #4. The keywords didn’t tell me the whole story, then I remembered a bamboo grove in front of that building, and there it was. πŸ™‚
      You’re right about window blind shades – they are a trope, don’t you think? But I’m glad this one didn’t look cliched to you. Thank you very much, Steve! Have a good week – time for Texans to regroup!

      Like

  3. The photographer’s mastery is in finding beauty where others see nothing interesting or subtle.
    All of these images have lines of force (or sets of lines) that, by the angle at which they were captured and/or by the light, it was possible to find the “juice” … the “soul” … the “essence” … or whatever we want to call it.
    I don’t know if I explained myself well …

    Achieving this from the most banal detail is an art. And Lynn did it veeeeeery well!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You made an interesting observation, Dulce, and I do think I understand what you’re saying. Sometimes I think you must really be a native English speaker who now lives in Portugal, your English is so perfect. It’s true that most of these photos are somewhat abstract and the colors are quiet. But your observation goes farther than just looking at the colors or subjects. Thank you very much. Have a great week!

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  4. Fine set! For me the connection is the search for abstraction; or should I say tendency towards… And, of course you are the connection.. πŸ™‚ Favorite is nr13 of course πŸ™‚ Keep searching; stay safe; any vaccination coming your way; they haven’t contacted me yet; and I am 60+….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha, yes, the best one has to be the one from Leiden! Thank you, Harrie. I hope you get that call soon. Joe and I were lucky. We pout ourselves on a vaccine waitlist set up by our little local hospital, back in mid-January. We thought it would take a month or more but we already had the first shot in late Jan. and we’ll get the second one Friday. We hear the second shot sometimes causes side effects so we will just be miserable together this weekend. πŸ˜‰
      Maybe you’re just too healthy-looking and they don’t think you need it. πŸ˜‰

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    • Thank you, Gerhard. I love contrasting textures, as you said, the interplay between rough and structured. That’s why sometimes, seeing human-made things in nature keeps life more interesting, right? The aesthetics of chance was an important influence way back in the early 1970s when I was in art school. John Cage and many others were exploring it. Those were exciting times. I’m glad you like #3 – NYC and surrounding cities are full of buildings like that. Thank you!

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  5. What a wonderful creative series and to be honest, just looking at them reminded me of you – the photographer. You have a great eye for what I call nature memories, shapes, colour & arrangement of non-nature objects too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just looking, what a nice understatement here. While you were “shopping” with your camera, you captured a lot of nice things πŸ™‚ #1, 3, 6, 7 and 11, 12 are the pictures I like best (you know, me and structures!). My favourite is nr. 6. Who would have thought that a parcel can look so interesting? I love your eye for the apparently “plain” things (that altogether build the whole). It IS very Zenlike, right? Giving full attention to everything there is in the moment and you are doing it! Maybe it is done with different cells, but the same mind. The question is, do the changing cells change the mind too πŸ™‚ I can say I feel different today, more tired than yesterday πŸ˜‰ Have a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for bringing your curious mind here, Almuth. πŸ˜‰ I really appreciate the thought that goes into your comments and I realize it isn’t easy to put your thoughts into a second language. Yes, I think the mind changes. The cells are always changing, inside and out but there is some mysterious thread that runs through the images, the thread called Lynn, I guess. I’m more tired, too. Maybe it’s a Tuesday thing! πŸ™‚ Thank you again. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the best part – when you enter the conversation. #3, well that sure makes sense! πŸ™‚ If our respective governments get back on the same page (at least there’s a better chance now) then maybe I’ll get up to Vancouver, where I’m sure I could find more scenes like #3. Thanks, Penny!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the way you love seeing. I had a photography teacher who once asked “Do we see what we’re looking at or are we just looking at what we’re seeing?”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Lynn, Just looking, always looking. You’re a photographer. I felt a strong thread throughout all of these. The lines, angles, abstracts. The seen and unseen. They are all stunners and some that stick in my mind- the corner of 33rd for its vivid warehouse decay and lines, the mailed package, the keys, the rust hoop and shadows is so beautiful and the snowy fence. You have a wonderful eye for detail, shapes and light. πŸ™‚
    I had the good fortune to meet the photographer, Lee Friedlander, in SF at a gallery showing of his work. When asked if he plans his projects he replied, “I just take photos of what I like, then I look back at them all and then I see the project.” (this showing was for his book, “Signs”.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a thoughtful comment, Jane, thank you very much. That rusty hoop was something we dragged back from a beach n Staten Island, then moved across the country. πŸ˜‰ You understand. It’s nice that you see the threads that run through these images. And wow, good to know about the elevated company I’m in when it comes to “planning” projects! What Friedlander said is what I do, too, 90% of the time. Thankyouthankyou. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. As a photographer we always have to keep our eyes wide open and learn to look in many different ways. Inless this style is not realy my piece of cake as a nature photographer, you realy surprised me with these shots !

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s good to know, Rudi. Thank you for being open-minded, a quality I value highly. Many years ago, I felt a lot of tension between my love for nature and my interest in abstract, conceptual, and minimalist art. They were hard to reconcile. Maybe a few of these photos bring realistic nature images and abstract images a little closer together. Thank you for being here. πŸ™‚

      Like

  10. I know I’ve said this before but I am so impressed with your vision and creativity. Each of these is wonderful in its own way. You notice the most interesting things in places I wouldn’t think to stop and look. I am reminded of Jay Maisel when I look at these, Lynn. Number 6, the multi-mailed package, is wonderful for it’s lines and colors and a really nice composition.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, keep saying it, Steve, I don’t mind. πŸ˜‰ What a nice compliment; I really appreciate it! I think I was always one who looked at things closely and wanted to see differently and then being amidst the NY art world in the early 70s helped that tendency along. Thanks so much!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Number 1 is really unusual. I like it a lot, for the graphical elements combined with more complex things in the real world, placed just so. It’s unusual for an even number of elements (the two pairs of shoes) to look right in a composition, I think, but you have pulled it off. Graphical elements get me in #2, too, but also the lighting and words, which add to the poignancy of a decaying building. In #6 I’m responding to all the straight lines set off by squiggles and even more, that wrinkle in the tape. I love love love #10; again it’s the straight lines set off by the ragged circular shape. There’s nary a straight line or precise curve in #11, but (but?) I like it for the colors and free forms. Another delightful collection, Lynn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All I had to do was look up for #1 – those feet were irresistible. I’d guess that the diagonals are what keep the composition from being too symmetrical, i.e. boring. I miss having subjects like the old building around. NYC was great for that. #6 – the package – is an extreme crop. It’s nice to hear that you were excited by that old rusty hoop – it was so beautiful when the sun came into that room. That apartment had major faults but it had major charms, too. Thanks for looking, Linda – after all, that’s what we do! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person


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