Light in the Quarters
8 September 2013
Last year I was fortunate to be able to attend the Atlanta Celebrates Photography portfolio review ( http://www.acpinfo.org/blog/category/acp-portfolio-reviews/ - scroll down the page for one of my Stagville images) - and one of the most useful comments I got was from Jason Francisco. He asked me to show him what it would feel like to spend an hour in these places and suggested that I go and experience the spaces in a different way, to sit without my camera and feel what it felt like to be there, observe, and to absorb the spirit of these places.
Upon my return from Atlanta, that is exactly what I did. I went and sat. I watched the light move across the floors and along the walls. I listened to the sounds of insects, the wind in the trees, and the local traffic. I have always felt a strong spirit of place, and so his words resonated with me. I needed to go and experience these spaces without being on a photographic mission. Although I did not bring a camera, I did bring my journal, and I made notes of things that I observed or thought while sitting.
This is one of my images after having done this. One thing that this experience taught me was that perhaps the thing that has changed the least since Stagville's time as a plantation is the way the light moves through the structures. With this in mind, I went back to Horton Grove and waited for the light, this time with camera and tripod in hand. I made this image on 30 November 2012.
A big thank you to all of my reviewers last year, in particular Jason Francisco, who changed the way I work.
D700 with Sigma f/2.8 24mm. ISO 400, 0.8 seconds at f/11
horton grovestagvilleblack and whiteslave quartersacp portfolio reviewjason francisco