It has been a long, strange winter filled with hard work and many odd twists and turns. I am particularly grateful to Frank Walker for his feature on my recent work on the Adorama Learning Center website https://www.adorama.com/alc/meet-a-pro-tama-baldwin I specifically appreciate the connections he made between my different bodies of work. I would never have thought to refer to myself as a documentary photographer, but when I told Frank Walker that he just let out a big laugh. Sorry, he said. You are. Maybe, I said. But I didn't mean to be.Read More
We followed through with a promise to ourselves to pursue warmer weather in January to break the spell of winter. It was good to drive to the south, through the south, to feel the physical reality of states that have become too abstract in the political dumbshow of recent years. In the foggy mountains of Tennessee, we discussed important battles fought along the Cumberland and the Tennessee Rivers and Wallace Stevens' poem "Anecdote of the Jar." This postcard series is a meditation upon that poem and "the slovenly wilderness" surrounding us everywhere.
It could be said I wasted an entire day of my shooting time in Ontario this July teaching myself how to photograph dragonflies. If you haven't tried to do it you really should, and you should do so while perched on a rock in a boggy, buggy corner of a beautiful river that also happens to be the nesting ground for a large family of extremely territorial watersnakes who are quite fond of the rock you are standing on for their all-day sunbathing. All morning I tried and failed. At lunch I unloaded my cards full of bad shots and recalculated what I would try next. And back to the Rock I went with a new card and a fresh battery and found the snakes had retaken their position--they would only be defeated by being mock-beaten with a swim noodle ( a task undertaken by someone not myself). Things improved. I have a lot of shots of dragonflies too, thank you, but the real gain was this: the settings I used for the dragonflies opened up a world of possibilities for seeing the river anew. Once again I am reminded of the magnificence of Samuel Beckett: "Ever Tried? Ever Failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail Better!"