The Long Way Home


What We Found Along the Way
November 29, 2012, 4:12 PM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , , ,

behind the neville hotel

Before I took up photography, I wrote fiction.  I finished my MFA and went to do volunteer work in Croatia. I spent time there writing in my journals, and emails (letters, really) to friends back home and I took a lot of photos. I carried my camera everywhere with me. This was before I did anything artistic or conceptual. I didn’t think of photography then in terms of story; I documented my days there, and when I tired of finding the ‘right words’ to describe what I wanted people to see, I took pictures. When I came home, I started working in the darkroom and saw how I could tell stories with photos. I’d spend hours in that room, secure under the red light, lost to the outside world – feeling guilty that I was moving away from fiction. Because for years I identified as a writer. Was I betraying this part of me? Why didn’t I know I was a photographer before I turned 30? I felt like I had some catching up to do. In grad school, my writing peers would comment how ‘visual’ my fragmented stories were, like snapshots, and now people tell me that my photos are stories. When Jeff and I walked around Neville Island at the beginning of the month, I took these photos to use up expired film. It wasn’t until later, after I had scanned and cropped the borders, then arranged them side by side that I saw a story – telling what, I’m not quite sure yet, but the blue cast over the film, and the shifting sunlight tied the five frames together.

self-portrait in found mirror

november sunset

what we found along the way

this road reminds me of the film The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

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12 Comments so far
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Such incredible photos, Lisa, I especially like the first and last ones. I’ve come to really appreciate both your writing and photography, they compliment each other so well!

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Comment by farmhouse stories

hi cait – thanks so much! your comments always make me happy to read and i’m glad you like my work, it means a lot!

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Comment by Lisa

I’m a big fan of your writing because of how it flows so well and is so evocative, not unlike your photos which use motifs (the umbrella, mirrors, stairs, and light) to tell stories. In this case I do love the laneway at the end (or beginning?)–a fitting conclusion to the Neville Island sequence.

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Comment by Michael Williamson

Your words are so kind, and they mean a lot, especially during a time when it’s been a little frustrating on the writing front with me (maybe this is always a struggle for writers though – the ins and outs of creativity). I appreciate your support of my art and writing throughout the year, thank you so much!

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Comment by Lisa

That self portrait is amazing!

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Comment by motherblue212

thanks, lady!

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Comment by Lisa

Some how you made that alley look nice.

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Comment by Kristy

but it is nice – in a spooky, overgrown weeds sort of way. i love your little part of the world!

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Comment by Lisa

I feel lucky when we go on photo adventures – I usually find good junk!

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Comment by Jeff

you have such an amazing eye for it.

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Comment by Lisa

Oh that found mirror self-portrait is wonderful. I just adore it!

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Comment by Photobooth Journal

thanks for the sweet comment, katherine! it was a perfect unplanned moment: i got a fun shot and jeff now has more treasures for his studio.

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Comment by Lisa




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