Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some small purchase on the world

After a year of lurking I finally bought my first 20 x 200 print last week, an 8.5 x 11 photo of this image by Jeffrey Krolick:
Driveway, Ashland, Oregon by Jeffrey Krolick

I like this image for a few reasons. First of all it's got good form. It's well seen, well put together without being too obvious. The colors work. It's a found scene as opposed to being constructed. In short it's a nice photo.

But the world is full of nice photos, most of which I don't wind up buying. The thing that pushed me over the edge on this one is that it's a local shot. This photo really feels like Autumn in Southern Oregon to me, and I wanted to have a photo which expressed that in my collection.

I used to have a bumper sticker which said Think Globally, Act Locally, and I think this slogan can apply to the photographic world: Think globally, shoot locally. To the extent possible one should be aware of everything happening in contemporary photography (and with the internet this is closer to a possibility than ever). But when it comes to photographic practice, the only exposures you can ever make are of what is right in front of you. Think globally, shoot locally.

All of which feeds into another reason I like Krolick's work. He has located himself outside the mainstream photo world. Krolick lives in Ashland, OR, about 3 hours south of Eugene. Although Ashland is a vibrant town, geographically it's a remote rural outpost about as far from the NY art scene as it's possible to get. I can almost guarantee there are not many fine art photographers in Ashland doing non-postcard style work. My guess is that Krolick is pretty much on his own there, free to follow whatever path he sets for himself. Which is fine. There are thousands of us out there in the same boat. Yet even while being physically isolated, Krolick has forged strong ties to the mainstream photo world (e.g. Through Silver Eye, Lucie Awards, and 20 x 200). This seems to be an ideal working method, and when I see a local guy who can successfully juggle that combination I have to support it.

Here're a few more images from Krolick's Emigrant Lake series. More work can be found on his personal site, which I must warn people contains a bit of California-speak.

No comments: