I usually begin the first days of any new year is a somber and reflective mood. In fact from Winter Solstice to Epiphany I seem to be searching for a new direction. So a visit to the cemetery in Cimarron, New Mexico was by no means out of character. There was a deep turquoise sky and bright floral decorations on the graves. Many had Christmas themes.
But I sought those without the bright departures from my somber mood. This was in part because I was looking for the oldest. The graves less attended because relatives had also long departed perhaps. Or the markers showed no indication of who was buried there beneath the weathering crosses and crumbling stone monuments.
And back to the dry darkroom I found myself reducing the color or saturation of the digital images to better reflect my mood. 2016 was a depressing year in many ways. And for my land I do not feel very positive about 2017.
Photography, books on the craft tell us, is all about light. And the light and shadow had a lot to do with my love of Day Five. But it is also the questions presented by it. Obviously the bigger cross is way older than the little one. Why the second cross? A second death. The grave is not marked except in a grave registry which is maintained at the Aztec Mill Museum. Someone still alive decorated it with silk flowers which in the original image are quite bright.
I have a writer friend of mine who could direct me on the path to answer all my questions. And more. But I think I like not knowing. Because every time I look at this digital image I make up a new story in my mind. I want to have it printed and put on my wall. Maybe even enter it in the April Solano Photography show.
I might print and frame Day Seven too.
Yes, photography is all about light. But it is also about a relationship between the image and the photographer. And the success of the photographer may be not merely in the technical recording in light but in picking the images which tell a story to him or her, and too those who view the image. I would love to see all the images Ansel Adams recorded but did not print. Now that would be a graveyard of stories not told.