Monday, November 18, 2019

Some Velvet Morning

Some Velvet Morning ©2019 -  The background image in this montage was captured in the area of Phillipsburg NJ shortly before crossing into Pennsylvania. While driving along, this lake caught my eye due to the hundreds of snow geese surrounding it or floating on it. Snow geese don’t like to travel without the company of another dozen or two and can form flocks of several hundred thousand, especially when flying south for the winter. They mate for life and at winter’s end fly north to their breeding grounds on the Arctic tundra. The great expanse of white feathers reminded me of a  beautiful black and white Paint horse I photographed near Pottersville NJ who would fit nicely walking along among the geese. The terms “paint” and “pinto” are sometimes both used to describe Paint horses but “Paint” is the breed and “Pinto” is actually the coloring. So, all Paints are Pintos (any spotted horse) but not all Pintos are Paints. The lady from my vintage photo collection was in reality looking down and reading what seemed to be a letter. So to insert her interactively into the composition, I removed the letter and photographed my own hand in the position needed to have her holding gently onto the horse’s mane as they strolled along the shore. To add a sense of mystery, I placed a young gentleman (also from my vintage photo collection) in the sunlight streaming through the trees across the lake. A small murder of crows was added flying from him to accompany the young lady and her menagerie.The final composition and lighting inspired the title “Some Velvet Morning”, a song written by Lee Hazlewood and originally performed as a duet with Nancy Sinatra in 1967. Hazlewood confessed he did not really know what the lyrics mean but that he was inspired by Greek mythology. The lyrics consist of the male part describing a mysterious, powerful woman named Phaedra, who “gave” him life and made it “end”. The male part alternates with the female who identifies herself as Phaedra and speaks over ethereal music about beautiful nature imagery and the secrets held by an unknown collective “us”.  So there I will leave the story or meaning to the interpretation of the viewer.   

Friday, April 19, 2019


Requiem ©2019 - The background image of this piece is a rolling field of multi colored grasses captured in the area of Washington Township in Morris County NJ. The wall of bare trees at the rear was blanketed with fog that was hovering over the entire area that day providing an eerie, unearthly kind of mood. I caught the flock of geese on a nearby lake just as they were taking flight into formation. There is an abandoned property in that area, specifically Middle Valley, NJ, that I have photographed several times over the years so I stopped by to do an update and see what changes may have taken place since my last visit. As I wandered through, something white  caught my eye in the underbrush beside the path. It was the skull of what appeared to be a deer. Upon closer examination, the rest of the skeleton seemed to also be there, partially submerged in mud. I decided at that point that at least the skull (which was in remarkably good condition) would find a new home at my house. After a bit of cleaning, it was ready to be photographed for its second life as an art subject. The young lady in mourning was restored from my vintage photo collection, the lilies are from a recent bouquet whose intoxicating fragrance permeated my house for days, and the crow is one of many I’ve captured in my travels. Color, selected filters and texture were applied and the Requiem began.

The Lovely Bones

You fell sometime ago
with no one near to witness
or mourn your end.

Even creatures who roam
the lonely woods should be
remembered; and so I bring
lilies, pale as the moon.
A requiem for your lovely bones.

                   - Darlene Foster