Saturday, March 28, 2009

Santo de Chimayo

It often takes a while to process a photograph. Last fall I saw this carving outside a window in Chimayo, New Mexico. A hand was missing, the window was spattered with dirt, and the lighting wasn't ideal, but I knew there was a photo lurking in there somewhere. So yesterday I pulled it out, dusted it off, added a hand, and brought out more of the texture in the wood.

Some might say that perhaps this santo was even more charming before I cleaned it up. Well, as the self-appointed queen of all things dirty, rusty, and grungy, I can say that no, it was definitely not more charming! The beauty of photography is that we are encouraged to look, to explore, to extract, and then to process. The looking and the exploration is fun — road trip! The extraction is a challenge — to create order out of chaos, to consider what is and what might be. The processing brings everything together, involving memories of your exploration, your feelings at the time the shutter clicked, and then tapping your skill in presenting to the world your little slice of life, and, in this case, a little slice of the woodcarver's life. ©Carol Leigh

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