maandag 25 juli 2011

Sorrel and Yarrow

From Elliot Porter's photobook 'Nature's Chaos' (a real eye-opener when I found it in a bargain bin at least ten years ago) comes "Sorrel and yarrow" (1982). It is not the most spectacular image in the book but as I am looking more and more at wild herbal fields like this I am starting to see what Elliot is trying to capture in a picture like this, and also how well he does it. What I like about Porter is the way he steps aside from taking pictures of objects and tries to capture textures and processes instead, but I might undestand him wrongly:   
"It is the beauty of nature that I try to represent by photography. What this expression means to most people, I am quite sure, is such features as flowers of spring, autumn foliage, mountain landscapes, and many other similar aspects about aesthetic qualities of which no one would care to offer contradiction. That they are beautiful is indisputable, but they are not all that is beautiful about nature; in fact they are only the obvious and superficial aspects of nature - which anyone may observe with half and eye. They are the peaks and summits of nature's greatest displays. There is no doubt about their importance; they could not be dispensed with. Underlying and supporting these brillant displays are slow, quiet processes that pass almost unnoticed from season to season, unnoticed by those that think that beauty in natures is all its gaudy displays."
Sorrel and yarrow are incidentally both edible.

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