Thursday, September 30, 2010

A weekend at Open View

This past weekend, I had the privilege of spending three days at Open View Farm to make photographs.  The farm was absolutely beautiful.  Though the leaves aren’t quite all the way turned yet, they were colorful enough to evoke the quintessential New England fall landscape.  I expected the air to be crisper than it was, but I made an effort to appreciate this last bit of heat before it turns cold for the foreseeable future.  In fact, I appreciated it so much that I went swimming with the folks from the farm on Saturday!

Every time I go, I fall more in love with the people and the place.  I am so humbled and grateful that everyone has been so open with me.  This past weekend, I exposed 40 sheets of 4 x 5 film, 21 rolls of 6 x 7, and made one more audio interview.  Whew!  The project is really coming along, and with each trip, I discover something new about the farm and make images that add to the complexity of the story. 

Violet looking at contact sheets

Something interesting is happening, both to me and to the work, as time passes.  I rarely return to the same place, or photograph the same people, over and over.  With this project, documenting the farm over the passage of time is integral to its theme, and I have made many trips over the past 5 months.  I find that with each trip, the photographs get better, more intimate, and my relationships with the people (and the animals) continue to deepen.  

Me with one of my favorite rams, Lovebug

And on another level entirely, the farm feels more and more like home.  I had been visiting it for many years before I began this project, so in some ways it was already familiar to me, but the process of making work with everyone and sharing my images has brought me close to the people and the place in a way I could never have imagined.  Plus, who doesn’t love getting to hang out with wonderful people on a gorgeous farm, eat delicious food right out of the ground and make campfires with friends, spending late nights lying on the grass watching the stars?  So thank you, everyone at Open View.  You are wonderful, and I can’t wait to come back again soon.  Maybe in a few more weeks, the leaves will be fully turned, the air will be crisp, and we will surround ourselves with pumpkins and apple cider- New England at its finest.  

Squash, squash, and more squash.

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