Sunday, September 19, 2010

Garden Party

"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence."
~ Ansel Adams

When I was growing up my dad rarely went anywhere without his camera, but because he preferred film that produced slides, photos of me as a child are rare. A couple of years ago I began converting his old slides into digital photos. Sometimes the results reveal worlds, and sometimes they seem to expose mysteries.

The house I grew up in had a large yard with apple trees, grape vines, rose bushes, peonies, violets, lilies of the valley, wild strawberries and a trellis-covered "summer house" where we told spooky stories on summer nights. The photo below shows the part of the yard directly behind the house. On warm days in spring and summer we would sometimes have lunch there.

This photo was taken on such a day, and that is all I want to say about it. To me, it invites storytelling. So go ahead — have your way with it.

People take pictures of the summer
Just in case someone thought they had missed it
Just to prove that they really existed
~ Ray Davies


  1. What an evocative photo. Thank you for sharing.

    Two things jump out at me: the remarkably artistic use of the orange hue -- the hat on the left, the shoes, the shorts, the hair and the cap in the center of the table. Makes for an invigorating composition and is eeriely aligned with the background of your blog!

    And the setter (?) looking away from the photo. Clearly she (?) was used to whatever dynamic was driving the sighs and sideways glances.

  2. Thank you, and I agree, it does look art directed. That's one of the things that fascinated me about it. It reminds me of a still from a Fellini film! And then there's all that masked emotion. You have a group of people ignoring one other, and the dog ignoring along with them, and you have to wonder what was going on. (That was our Golden Retriever. Her name was Gay, daughter of Joy and Bliss. One of my aunts bred Goldens and had a lyrical approach to puppy-naming.)

    I have an idea of what the dynamics were that day, but it's just my imagined explanation and is no better or more accurate than anyone else's. That's why I decided to leave it up to the reader.

  3. Having the Queen Mother there (second from the right) couldn't have made it very relaxed.

  4. You mean the wearer of the black hat? You have definitely picked up on a family dynamic!