This series of post is about rethinking, re-feeling past experiences. We all have past experiences and many are notable. Just like photos, they are memories of past experiences. It seems to me that experiences of both photos and thoughts are similar but very different. Not easy to conjure up past experiences and yet a photo easily exposes the detail of the moment.
Anyway. I met Edmund Bacon from the AIA. American Institute of Architecture. I was working on a series of portraits of American Artist. After a short time, it became evident that we connected in a most beautiful manner.
We would walk around and he would tell me so many things I really didn’t know. One day on our walk a bout, Ed stopped at a Liberty Tower and leaned against it, putting his ear to a wall. For the life of me, I hadn’t a clue what he was doing. Then he called me over and said, do as I am doing. I looked around and saw people watching us and I felt awkward. I’m used to being the observer not the observed.
Ed saw I was kinda self conscious and started to talk with me. Don, there’s an interaction in every breath in life and with what you do with that breath. Your photography is excellent and your dedicated to the art. I am a lover of space and buildings. Many here know me and they communicate with me. When you had your ear to the wall, what did you hear? I had a dazzled look on my face and he pulled me to the wall again.. Put your ear to the wall and cover the other ear. Now put a hand on the wall near your ear. Ed did the same thing with opposite ears and hand and looked right in my heart.
Ed said, do you hear those sounds? Can you hear the difference? What do you feel? He said there’s a steady heartbeat and that’s the pendulum. That sound is the buildings heart. Do you hear a creaking sound? That the materials holding it all together. Can you feel a vibration and have it inside you? He pulled me away and we walked more and I made photos as he directed.
Ed said, that building is the equivalent of your photos. The bid difference Don is, with City Planning, I am at one with the world. My wife Ruth understood and supported me best she could. out photography is your life’s effort and needs to be as strong as any building. Your photos are the summation of man and the environment. They are separate and yet many times, they become one. Ed and I made a dummy book and I still have it. I suppose no one will ever publish it because he wasn’t a cowboy with a white hat. He was an opinionated strong man. He stood for his believes at all cost. Some of you reading this understand.
My Edmund Bacon take a way is … It is all the oneness, what makes the difference is not in what you see or frame but how and why you do it.