At the little house that overlooks the sea, dusk begins to osmose all hard edges, even our own.
The waves blur, and the trees fade to smoke, and the ghost lights from passing automobiles dip in reverence like pairs of swans.
You and I came back to the sea in order to watch nighttime emerge, to consider the fading light, to turn over and over in our hands these stories of three men who became photographers in a time when two world wars marred the landscape.
Two of them were naturalized citizens who had crossed oceans and ideas to get here.
One of them nearly faded into obscurity.
But all three— Edward Steichen, Weegee, and Richard Avedon— taught us that photography is not one idea, but many ideas that overlap and crash like errant waves in the night sea in front of us.
Because the night has arrived, we stand now in the dark on the porch of the little house by the sea. I do not look at you as I ask this question:
Where do you want to go next?
Here is what I do not say: Because I can take you anywhere in the world. Because we can leapfrog the years and the hours. Because it is time for us to depart again to find out how we got here, how you and I learned to hold a camera and consider a thousand-thousand options for a single photographic image.
I am smiling in the dark.
I am listening to the sea speak, but really— I am standing here, patiently, waiting for your reply.
TO READ THE ENTIRE “GOLDEN HOUR” SERIES: go to A Smörgåsbord of Posts.
[My photography, and all of my writing on photography, is inspired and informed by my mentor, photographer and writer Donald Ewers. This work-in-progress is dedicated to him.]
NEXT WEEK on OUR SUNDAY BEST: Where would you like to go? Europe during the second World War? Mexico during its cultural revolution in the 1930s?