Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First Post: Photographing the Seemingly Intangible

William Bentley: Snowflakes 1902

When I first saw this picture, I realized that it is possible (with enough effort) to see whatever you want to see. More importantly to show the world and keep the sight with you forever. Bentley wanted to see snowflakes and while to many it was impossible, he did it. For me, I grew up wanting to see the woods, to see the menacing icicles that hung off the cliffs on philadelphia drives (for those of you unfamiliar with the city, east and west river drives, kelly drive, and lincoln drive). I wanted to venture into the forest beside lincoln drive, to peer into the ice cold Schuylkill and see if I could find bodies, or fish, or simply my own reflection. I peered out my mom's car window for years wondering what was out there, in between the tangle of trees. I imagine Bentley felt the same way wondering about the identity of each tiny white crystal that fell in front of him, landing in his hand and then disappearing before he could lean in to see. Yet Bentley found what he was looking for. I did too.

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