“The photographs are not illustrative. They, and the text, are co-equal, mutually independent, and fully collaborative.” James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, xi.
Piglet is squealing.
Mark Ladner, chef at Del Posto, wears square granny glasses and blue latex gloves. With a practiced snap to check for fit, Ladner bends over the cutting board.
Pig: Sus scrofa domesticus: child-like. Its hairy and pink skin reflexes upon palpitation; it snuffles to the human touch. Cradled in the arms of a pubescent girl, its heart beats in languid, muffled, contented ka-thumps. It avoids cold, wet, and windy weather, preferring the safe habitations of a straw-lined litter. In the bluster of a kitchen, the pig peeks its pointed head between open oven doors, inquires into burbling pots, and trips, nervous, as though made uncomfortable by the warm voices far overhead. They speak of dinner and death. Continue reading
Whenever I eat an olive, I try to let the taste linger a bit. When eating this fruit, I savor the tanginess because this taste makes me feel Greek. Olives and olive oil immediately conjure images of lettuce, crumbly feta cheese and cucumbers, all tossed together in Greek salad. Most likely, you have eaten this dish at “all you can eat” buffets and organic restaurants. Yet, when I eat a Greek salad, I do not feel Greek at all. I feel like an American who likes feta cheese. Therefore, it seems strange that a simple olive could evoke such a strong feeling, when a Greek salad does not. Although I am sure many real Greeks do eat and enjoy their namesake salad, I feel thoroughly American while eating it. Continue reading
Although Henri Cartier- Bresson died in 2004, his impact on modern photography has been incalculable. To Bresson, photography was intuitive and inherently creative- the “decisive moment” expressed the essential meaning of an event or action. To Bresson, photography was “putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis.”
As I have become more and more involved with photography, I have realized that another still life of well-lighted fruit is all well and good, but engaging photography should include the decisive moment. Sure, one might look at an image of a beautifully iced carrot cake and say, “Wow, doesn’t that look delicious!” Yet, that person has not truly engaged with the image, they have merely paid it a passing glance. Continue reading