River Songs

River Songs  1988-89 / 2011

The subject of this set of color photographs is the Celestial  River, the archetypal river, the river Delius wrote music about, and Frank Bridge, and Vaughan Williams and so many other great English composers.  These photographs pay homage to the great English traditions of Pastoral Music and Pastoral Painting.  And I am sure that my love of the Hudson River School painters is in this work as well.

I took these photographs, my very first venture into color photography, during one of the hottest summers I had ever experienced in Milwaukee.  My tendency to print in the warmer, redder tonal range has to do with the early morning and late evening light, I’m sure, but also the heat I experienced that summer.  I would often rise early in the morning, just before sun came up, and drive ten blocks west from my house to the river where another, cooler, more peaceful pastoral world awaited me.  Then the sun would rise and illuminate the mists rising from the river’s flowing water.  It was the magical birth of a new reality.  

I lived exactly equal distant between the River and Lake Michigan, which was ten blocks to the east of me, and which I had photographed in 1981-82 (visit the Lake Series).  Just as the river merges into the lake, so I merged into magical spaces I photographed over the Lake and along the river.

I photographed the part of the River between North Ave. and Silver Spring (between July 1988 and October 1989) and mostly on the west side, so I could face into the light as the sun peaked over the east ridge.  

My first version of these images, originally titled The River Series, consisted of 10x10” Ektacolor prints (made from 2 ¼ inch color negatives).  I am happy to digitally resurrect this work so that it can be placed alongside all my other music inspired projects collected here in my web site.   The inkjet prints are 15x15”.  Welcome to The River.

1  Celestial River Sunrise & City  15x15"

2  Falling Leaves,  River Songs   15x15"

3  Winter Cross,  River Songs   15x15"

4  Spring, Fog   River Songs   15x15"

5 Eating the Sun,  River Songs   15x15"

6  Reflections,  River Songs   15x15"

7  River Path,  River Songs   15x15"

8  River Sprite,  River Songs   15x15"

9  Opening View,  River Songs   15x15"

10  Hanging Willows, Yellow River    River Songs   15x15"

11  Fog and River Stump,  River Songs   15x15"

12  Light on tree limb, touching water,   River Songs   15x15"

13  Fishing by the dam,  River Songs   15x15"

14  Centered River Plant,  River Songs   15x15"

15  Red Tree Limb, red rocks  River Songs   15x15"

Please visit:
Symmetrical River Songs

Related Projects:
Lake Series  1981-82
Images of Eden 1983-84
The Hudson River Valley 2010 
The Meadow  2008-ongoing

Welcome Page  to The Departing Landscape website which includes the complete hyperlinked listing of my online photography projects dating back to the 1960's, my resume, contact information, and more.