I have many favorite photographers whose work I try to keep up with. One from Britain, Kate Kirkwood, is, in my soberest judgment, the greatest photographer of chickens ever to have lived. Number 33 from her series “Light, Landscape, Lives” is the “Night Watch” of chicken pictures:
When I first said this to her I thought she might take it the wrong way—it's a bit flip, as I am wont to be, and I was not trying to belittle* her work—but she took it in the right spirit. She wrote, "I was immediately flattered and delighted by the Rembrandt comparison because I look for and strive for that sumptuous dark light, the dense colours, those possibilities."
I think she finds them, but see what you think. I love this body of work, from Britain's famous Lake District.
She's not bad at street photography, either, as you'll see if you delve further into her website. But of course there's probably more money in chickens. (Again with the flip....)
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I had to spend eight hours in the (still empty) new house today as, tick-tock, I inexorably lost my last working weekday till Tuesday. Ya hate that. The first half waiting for the AT&T UVerse guy (Internet hookup), who was supposed to show up in the 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. window and showed up at 2:30 instead; the second half waiting interminably for him to get his work done. I was required to be present, in case any decisions had to be made. He was a nice guy, don't get me wrong—Ricky, from the city, with daughters nine, eleven, and thirteen. And he was working away at it right along. It just took forever.
A few decisions did have to be made, but they did nothing to fill up all the time. I was bored out of my s k u l l.
On the good side, the painter is all finished (thanks Karl), and the colors I chose for the walls work wonderfully. As the day progresses the subtlety of the colors and the way the shifting light is reinforced by the colors is marvelous, much better than I expected. The house is more beautiful than I thought. The light is wonderful. Based on a big eight hours of observation.
Also we discovered that our bathtub is a whirlpool bath! You know, with massaging jets. Another experience that is still in my future in this life. Kind of a bonus, because that's the kind of thing I would never specifically spend my own money on, not in a million years.
I should have brought a towel and taken a long bath, come to think. I had nothing else to do. Except sit around watch the light change. And think of all the other things I should have been doing.
*Did you know that Thomas Jefferson coined the word "belittle," and made himself a figure of fun among English pedants at the time because of it? That's according to Mencken.
"Morning Coffee" is auto-published weekdays at 3:30 a.m. Central Time today to be in time for morning coffee breaks in the UK and Europe. For those who rise later, it will be there. The feature is a month-long experiment to give people something to check in with while I'm busy moving. If I can get the rhythm down, I'll try to continue the tradition when TOP gets revved up again in mid-September.
I'll write about anything. Want to suggest a topic or ask a question? Leave it as a comment.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
JacobT: "For me that set of photographs captures the lake district far better than any of the grand vistas for which it's most famous. Those little vignettes cast me straight back to my childhood there, encountering various creatures on late night drives and misty atmospheric walks. Thanks so much for bringing her work to my attention! Thanks again for the wonderful site, from a homesick Cumbrian residing in London."
Dave Stewart: "Thank you for the link to Kate Kirkwood's site. I really enjoyed looking through her work. Also most heartening to see that she has built up a fine body of work with a humble Nikon D60 and kit lens. That's something to bear in mind as Photokina approaches, and many of us find ourselves tempted by all the new and (allegedly) so much better baubles!"
Mike replies: Right, but I somehow keep feeling that her "sumptuous dark light and dense colours" would be better served by a full-frame Canon with an L lens.
Svein-Frode: "What a great photographer. Talk about turning a weakness (digital camera noise) into an advantage! Thanks for sharing, and Kate if you're reading this, keep up the excellent work. I can imagine that your prints must be even more beautiful!"
Steve Pritchard: "The photographs in Kate Kirkwood's 'Light, Landscapes, Lives' section of the linked site are just sumptuous. I've only looked at the first twenty but had to leave so as to save them until I can clear the decks of distractions and give them my undivided attention. I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Thanks for the link.
"By the way, did there really used to be such a thing as English pedants? Before my time!"
Bob Smith: "Ok, I looked. Here is what I think: WOW. It's wonderful coming across or being pointed to a photographer with a definite look and feel to their work. I have bookmarked Kate's site and will be spending a pleasant afternoon taking it in."