If I Had To Pick Just One

Ok, the time has come for me to pick one and only one image that I wish I had taken. Now, I know there are *so* many to choose from, and my selection depends entirely on personal choice-it’s not a reflection of the technique of any of the photographers, instead it’s more like a random “pluck” from the abyss. Actually, I could go on about this, but I won’t-enough babbling, it’s time for me to present my selection.

My one and only one photo that I wish I had taken is called “Morning” and it’s by a photographer named Clarance H. White. It’s an image done in the early pictoralist style. Here is some information I have found out about the image (it’s currently licensed to Getty Images and reproduced here for educational purposes.)

“View of a woman in white dress walking outdoors in the quiet early morning hours of the day, 1908. Unspecified location. (Photo by Clarence H. White/George Eastman House/Getty Images) ” It was taken on the 1st of January in 1908.

In case you do not know who Clarence White is, he was an American born photographer who lived around the turn of the century and worked in Ohio then later New York. He was friendly with Stieglitz and, along with several other pictorial photographers co-founded the Photo-Secession, an elite group dedicated to furthering photography, as well as a school in New York devoted to the craft. You can read more about Clarence White on his wiki page and find a few more links (containing more of his work) both here and here.

I had opportunity to see an original print of this image several years ago-it was contained in the Target collection of photography and I have to say that I was blown away. When standing in a room full of titans, everything from Adams, to Strand, to Weston, I somehow got drawn to this quiet contemplative study of a figure in a white dress, hung a bit obscurely in the corner of the exhibition hall. I knew at that point, somehow, this was my favorite image of the bunch and it’s really one I wish I had taken. It’s very ethereal, evocative, dreamy, and it just draws me in on so many levels. It has a quiet elegance about it, and it’s a wonderful image that combines a bit of nature, an environment of sorts, a mysterious figure, and a gentle feeling, all of which, when combined, really push all of my photographic buttons.

The MOMA page on White says that he drew his influences from, “Whistler, Sargent and Japanese prints” and I’ve always been a big fan of the Pictoralist movement from that period, so this wound up being the image I selected. I hope you like it too.

Until next time…


1 Comment

  1. mythopolis
    July 1, 2010 / 5:15 pm

    Yes, 'Morning' is sooo beautiful. Its like magic-realism. Great choice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *