southern reach

What makes us see our own work differently?

In general, I’m a clean-as-I-go kind of person. I feel overwhelmed by too much of anything, and yet there is an exception with regard to my photographs.

 blue swing set

blue swing set

I have learned an interesting truth. What I see, at first glance, and sometimes at second, third or fourth glance as unworthy, I often come to reconsider. When I reach.

There is a catalog of unchosen photographs that live on my hard drive and in my memory.

 pool parlor

pool parlor

Those images I am not quite certain of.

Most often it’s not so much that the photographs are poorly exposed or out of focus or technically incorrect. Rather they tend to be photographs of mystery. I can’t quite figure out how to edit them in a creative manner. I don’t quite love them, yet I cannot let them go. I can’t wrap my mind around why they intrigue me.

 Healing Wings Church

Healing Wings Church

And worst of all, I wonder if they are any good. At all.

As I was reading the latest post from Don’t Take Pictures, which features Walter Pickering’s work, Southern Kingdom, I saw something in his series of photographs that reminded me of my own.

Pickering offers a straightforward and seemingly unbiased view of the places he knows from years of visits, and to which he maintains a strong connection. The time of day he chooses to photograph creates a soft color palette and a quiet mood, both of which add a certain grace and tenderness. Those deliberate choices, and—more importantly—his series’ title, Southern Kingdom, offer powerful clues to Pickering’s Southern sensibilities.

I share this same sensibility, a southern reach. And I like Pickering, I long for a sense of place and authenticity.

 2400 Diner

2400 Diner

Seeing my photographs through the eyes of Pickering, I see more of myself.

I see the value of these pictures and I hold their stories of the past and the present in my heart.