Welcome Page

Welcome to The Departing Landscape website
         Steven D. Foster
                         updated 10-1-2013

                 Visual Poem for the Departing Landscape  2007-12                    

Click on images once, twice to enlarge
Click on any blue hyperlinked words or titles  to see the complete online projects
Latest Additions to the website  (12-2-2014) 
click here         Acadia--Arcadia?  Part IV  Commentaries & Constructing the Symmetrical Photos   12-2-14
click here         Acadia--Arcadia?  Part III  Epilogue  12-1-14
click here         Acadia--Arcadia?  Part II  11-26-14  The Imaginal World of Arcadia
click here         Acadia--Arcadia?  Part I  (of four parts)  11-18-14  Acadia National Park 
click here         The Angels: (seven parts) ~ Photographs Inspired by the art of Paul Klee 
                              and the writings of Henry Corbin and Tom Cheetham   
click here         The Space Between Color and Black&White  August 4, 2014 
click here         The Creative Process  ~  Introduction  May 14, 2014
click here        Still Life ~ Photographs inspired by Giorgio Morandi  2013 
click here        Studies III: Color Photographs  [The World as a Book]  2006 - 2013
click here       "An Imaginary Book" 2011-13  Photographs inspired by Islamic sacred art   
click here       Exhibition (online version), Spectrum Gallery, Rochester, NY  January- Feb, 2012  

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Welcome to The Departing Landscape website which is dedicated to exploring and sharing with you my creative process in photography.  I have provided below a listing of hyperlinked titles (in blue colored type) to my online photography projects, including projects dating back to the 1960s and my most recently completed projects.  Each online project contains images and texts, links to related projects, reference materials, etc.  In the above section "Latest Additions" I will announce and list projects most recently added to this website.    

My contact information, resume, biographical articles, interviews, gallery representation, etc. is available at the bottom of this page, and at this link: Steven D. Foster. 

A Personal History of Photography offers a chronological narrative, including a visual sampling of the projects and their hyperlinks. Over the 45 year history of my work presented here it will become apparent that I have not been the type of artist who has early on established a stylistic mode of working, or a particular conceptual thrust, and spent a lifetime embellishing the singular theme with gradual variations!  Rather, I have followed the impulses of my intuitions and personal interests and thus have explored a full range of ideas and techniques over the years.  Music has been a very important and recurring influence upon my work, and since my college days the idea of the equivalent or the symbolic photograph has been an ongoing, primary conceptual preoccupation, as has the idea of the thing centered photograph.  More recently my spiritual practice of meditation has become a more public aspect of my creative process, and I have been making projects that pay homage to some of my favorite visual artists (Morandi, Paul Klee).

Music Inspired Projects
Beginning in 1999 and continuing through 2010 I produced three large projects in response to the music of American composer Morton Feldman (1926-1987):   

          The Departing Landscape Project 2007-12   
          The Triadic Memories Project 2003-07  
          Garage Series 1999-2000    

                                     The Departing Landscape  2007-12                                                  

                                  The Triadic Memories Project 2003-07                                      

                                Garage Series 1999-2000                                    

The Title of This Website
The title of this website is named after my Feldman inspired project The Departing Landscape.  The phrase "departing landscape" is Feldman's metaphor for how sound leaves us in our hearing as it decays into silence; title of my website also reflects my concern for the environment which I write about further below.  (Note: my Feldman inspired projects are available for exhibition in combination with a talk by writer Clark Lunberry and concert pianist Louie Goldstein.  Visit this link for more information: Images ~Music ~Text.)

Other composers and musicians (classical, jazz, contemporary), and miniatures for piano solo have inspired or influenced my work, including the works of Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt, Charles Ives, William Bolcom, Frederic Chopin, Steve Lacy and Thelonious Monk.  Please visit: Other Music Inspired Projects.

"An Imaginary Book"  
In May, 2011 my wife Gloria and I traveled to Turkey.  The trip was initiated in part by my desire to understand better how the music of Morton Feldman was inspired by the Turkish rugs he had collected.  Though I am not an Islamist I was deeply moved by the Islamic Sacred Art I saw in the mosques and museums, and in the shrine of the great poet-saint Rumi that we visited in Turkey.  My experiences resulted in a two year project consisting of nine core projects, a Preface, an Epilogue, and more.  For a brief introduction to this large project visit: "An Imaginary Book." 


Most Recent Work:
In mid September, 2014 I announced the first of seven parts of my project The Angels: Photographs Inspired by the Art of Paul Klee and the Writings of Henry Corbin and Tom Cheetham.  The project--an extension of the large 2011 project "An Imaginary Book" -- began in August and was completed in November, 2014.  The last two parts of the project contain images made in Acadia National Part.  After completing the Angels project I decided to devote an entire project to the photographs made in Acadia.  The project, entitled Acadia : Arcadia? completed in early December, 2014 consists of two primary parts: Images of Acadia and The Imaginal World of Arcadia, plus an Epilogue and a Commentaries page.  I am now thinking about doing a project devoted to the idea of the photograph as Icon, an important concept highlighted in the writings of Corbin and Cheetham.  (text revised 12-2-14)

The Studies Projects:  III  ~  IV  ~  V ~ VI
After I completed "An Imaginary Book" I decided to revisit one of my earlier, favorite projects entitled Studies 1994-2000 for inspiration, perhaps fresh ideas, for a new project. Indeed, my revisiting the earlier Studies projects resulted in Studies III Color Photographs 2006 - June 2013. This project was then followed by a project entitled Still Life, photographs inspired by the great Italian painter Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964). Visit Still Life Studies IV. I completed Still Life in April, 2014, and the fifth Studies project The Creative Process followed in May. I completed this project in early July, 2014 and immediately began Studies project VI Between Color and Black&white which I first posted on this Welcome Page on August 4, 2014.

Saving The Natural World 
In the summer of 2011 I became aware that the Finger Lakes area of New York State in which we are now living was on the brink of becoming an industrial wasteland.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State's Department of Environmental Conservation seemed determined at that time to force New York State to fold under growing pressures from the the natural gas and oil industry who wanted to initiate a new natural gas drilling technique in the State known as horizontal high volume hydraulic fracturing. This new technology has the potential for poisoning huge volumes of our state's fresh water; it could ruin our organic faming, tourist and wine industries; the heavy truck could destroy our highways and bridges; the process could pollute the air we breath. It is a violent and toxic process that would contribute significantly to the growing threats of climate change, and in general the health and well being of the residents of the state of New York.

On the morning of October 14, 2011, after seeing a rainbow hovering over the beautiful meadow behind our property, I decided to begin creating a website which would contain essays, environmental websites, senate testimonies, newspaper articles . . . any important real, factual scientific information that would help myself and others to understand the dangers of hydrofracking to our environment, our health, the value of our personal property . . . our entire way of life in this state!  NoToHydrofracking.blogspot.com/  

As an artist I had in the past consciously stayed away from making political statements in my many photography projects, but the creation of the hydrofracking website inspired me to make several new related projects which together form a suite: visit The Hydrofraking Suite.  

Hydrofracking is occurring throughout the United States and all over the world; it impacts in the most horrible ways entire communities and whole environments; and because the escaping methane from the process destroys the earth's ozone layers, hydrofracking is adding significantly to the growing problems associated with Climate Change or global warming. In October, 2013 I learned that the DEC was trying to fast track new regulations for Liquified Natural Gas or LNG. If this were to pass, our roads would be filled with dangerous potentially explosive heavy duty trucks, and our state would become filled with more pipe lines and storage facilities that pollute and could explode. These LNG facilities would be the precursor to opening New York State to hydrofracking.  

I hope you will learn more about this ugly, very threatening situation. It is literally a matter of life and death for all of us and the entire planet. (I highly recommend Sandra Steingraber's work, also visit EcoWatch.com) Sustainable energy options are a viable alternative to the toxic fossil fuels we now use and produce in this country. It is a matter of learning, and a matter of political will. Please contribute to the well being of this planet and New York State in any way that you can. It is up to us to get our politicians to do the right thing. Most of them will only serve the industry and their own personal greedy agendas.

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~ Large Multi-Themed Projects ~
The Angels  August -- November 2014  Photographs Inspired by the art of Paul Klee and the writings of Henry Corbin and Tom Cheetham

Studies Projects:
Studies VI ~ The Space Between Color and Black&white  ~ August, 2014

Studies V ~ The Creative Process  ~  May - July, 2014

Studies IV ~ Sill Life ~ Photographs Inspired by Giorgio Morandi  2013-14

Studies III : Color Photographs   2006 - June 2013

Studies II :  Monk's Quirky Music   2011 / 1994-2000     

Studies I : Miniature photographs inspired by musical miniatures  1994 - 2000


"An Imaginary Book"  2011 - 2013
The Complete Collection of  Projects 
inspired by Islamic Sacred Art &  Knowledge  
 A Brief Illustrated Introduction

The Nine Core Projects:


The Departing Landscape Project  2007-12 
Thematic Subgroups for the Departing Landscape Project: 
Faint Photographs
Portraits, Faces & Figures
Windswept Landscapes and Memorials
Visual Poems for the Departing Landscape
Combines (Departing Landscape)
In The Woods
The Persephone Series
The Abstract Photographs
Poetry for The Departing Landscape 
The Hydrofracking Suite     

Triadic Memories Project  2003-07 
Thematic Subgroups for the Triadic Memories Project:
Repetition Triads ~ Continuums ~ Vertical Thoughts
Chromatic Fields
Gridline Photographs
Abstract Photographs: Objects & Interiors
Triangulated Photographs
Circled Photographs
Visual Poems / Triadic Memories
Combines (Triadic Memories)


Other Music Inspired Projects

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The Complete list of

~ Hyperlinked Project Titles ~

The Space Between Color and Black&white  ~ August, 2014

Still Life ~ Photographs Inspired by Giorgio Morandi  July 2013- April 2014 

Studies III   Color Photographs   2006 - 2013 

"An Imaginary Book"  2011-13

Five Peripheral Projects from "An Imaginary Book"  2012-13

The Hydrofracking Suite  2011-12

The Departing Landscape Project  2007-12 

Portraits, Faces & Figures  2005-09

The Meadow  2008-09

Costa Rica  2010

Faint Photographs  2007-08

Italy  2oo7

Triadic Memories Project  2003-07

Visual Poems  2007  / 1998-2000 

Combines  2006-07

The Garage Series  1999-2000 

Monk's Quirky Music   Studies II   2011 / 1994-2000     

Studies I  Miniature Photographs inspired by  Musical Miniatures  1994 - 2000

Color Diptychs  1990-92 

River Songs  1988-89 / 2011
Family Life  1985-88

City Places  1984-85  

Images of Eden  1983-84

Dream Portraits  1982 
Lake Series  1981-82

Intimate Landscape Series  1980-81 

Negative Print Series  1978-80 
Steve Lacy Series  1977-78 / 2011

The Persephone Series  1976 / 2011

In The Woods  1974 / 2011


Book Project   1966  / 2013

Videos which use my images
Music Video   2012:  Ken Hanson, Panalure  "I'm not thinking about you"     

Poetry Video  2013:  David Travis using one of images (swan and leaves)


Selected Photographs 
from the complete list of projects

click on the images to enlarge
click on the hyperlinked titles under the images 
to visit the online project


Lake Series  1981-82  


                                                  Portraits, Faces & Figures 2005-09                                                         


                                        The Abstract Photographs  2003-07                                                 


                                             In The Woods  1974 / 2011                                                        

 Combines  2006-07        

Dead fish at the bottom of a stream
contaminated with toxic 
hydrofracking waste.

                                The Persephone Series 1976 / 2011                                                     


                                 River Songs 1988-89 / 2011                                             

                                  Images of Eden  1983-84                                                

                                                  Italy  2oo7                                                                     

                                            Steve Lacy Series  1977-78                                                    

                                                                    Negative Print Series 1978-80                                                                         


                                                     Dream Portraits  1982                                                                             



Faint Photographs  2007-08
The Hudson River Valley  2010  



Contact Information:
Steven D. Foster                                                                      
3906 Chatham Lane                                                            
Canandaigua, NY 14424                                                         
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Gallery Representation:  
Spectrum Gallery,  Rochester,  NY  Bill Edwards, Director   
Note: If you are interested in the purchase of images you see on this website, please contact Bill Edwards.

Online version of the Spectrum Gallery Exhibition January 6 thru February 25, 2012

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This link takes you to the Program Archive.  To find my interview
simple type in Foster in the Guest or Keyword search window.

 A Personal History of Photography 
This is an illustrated chronology about my involvement in photography, including personal stories, images from projects, much much more.


 Click on image once, twice to enlarge