This blog is partly to help me think about ideas about nature and culture that come to me as I’m photographing the marginal areas of Pittsburgh, my adopted home town, and partly to connect with other artists and writers “out there” who are struggling to make sense of similar concerns in their own work. Like many, I am looking at the effects of human invention upon the physical fabric of world, considering my own involvement in the cycle of consumption and wondering what it is all leading to.
I chose the title “Through The Ground Glass Darkly” because, besides describing my experience of composing an up-side-down image on the ground glass of a 4×5 camera–with a denim shirt acting as a dark cloth over my head–it describes the desire to see something that can’t be fully comprehended. Photographing the landscape is like that: what I am thinking about is not the thing that I am taking a picture of; however, the traces are there and the challenge is to compose the elements within the frame so that they have meaning, so that their significance points to the idea that is formulating in my mind. If I am successful, both in the images and with the blog, the viewer/reader will feel the presence of the ideas even if they don’t quite see the exact shape. If I am really successful, all the elements collected together will connect to each other and to a larger conversation.