Form and Fabric

Form and Fabric, landscape photographs of woodlands, meadows, and dunes, is inspired by the low-angled light of spring and autumn. One of the first rules a new photographer will hear is the stricture to seek out the magical light of sunrise or sunset. But this marginalizes most of the day, and certainly the part of the day that all of us experience. There is no magical light. The magic is the interaction of light with substance; this creates color and reveals form. Whether in the bright colors of a sunny day or the muted colors in the fog, the complexity of color, line, and rhythm arise naturally.

In addition to light, the landscape offers challenges at two extremes of form and texture. The woods are visually busy, filled with twigs, trunks, and brush. By comparison meadows can seem empty. A photographer, by the choices she makes, can isolate the essential in each scene to clarify and simplify. This series includes locations from mountain and coast; early morning to late afternoon. Certainly the images can be sorted in two groups, one characterized by vertical lines and second characterized by undulating planes. But landscapes don’t exist in isolation. One type transforms into the other, and the edges where they meet are important. I was attracted to these views because they share a delicacy of detail that intrigues me.

Each image in Form and Fabric has detail that is characterized by a pervasive commonality of form combined with subtle variation in color. As a geologist I learned a technical vocabulary to describe differences among types of rocks. Texture refers to surface features; fabric refers to features that are pervasive throughout the material. With my geology background as a guide, I have used the word “fabric” in the title of this series to suggest a longer look.

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