Click to preview 36 Views of the Charles, 2013 photo book

"The thing that [the photograph] IS, is not the thing that we photographed." -
© Brooks Jensen - LensWork Publishing, podcast 0791 -

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This body of work was made along the Cambridge side of the Charles River over a period of ten years. The work is about the variations of light and color that can be seen only if one slows down to observe it. Colors seen and created through the happy accidents of initial vision, conditions outside, and the vicissitudes of changing camera technology, often through exposure times of up to a minute. Photography is said to freeze a moment in time, but these images often contain moments unfolding.

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This work is inspired in part by Hokusai’s famous series of woodblock prints, 36 Views of Mount Fuji. His series uses that famous Japanese icon, Mount Fuji, as a character in a larger work in which he explores elements of Japanese life. I look at the river itself as Fuji and the skyline of Boston, the Longfellow Bridge and the many boats and buoys and the river boathouses as characters here. How are they interacting with one another with today’s particular weather conditions? Is the river still or stormy? And what about the sky? The river is a beautiful, meditative place in the evening hours when so many of these images were made. And the color is glorious and beautiful in a way that is often so surprising, if one takes the time to see it.


About the Author

Greg Harris
flash-bulb Boston, MA, USA

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