I’ve been building my kit for about 3-4 years. The more I shoot the more I know what I still need. I’m fascinated by the mechanical nature of vintage equipment and I think my kit shows that – what’s in your kit?
via What’s in my Kit.
Klediment is a word my mother taught me. She told me it was a word that she heard her grandparents and aunts and uncles use in the hills of Appalacia where she grew up. A Klediment is a word that describes an object with great value – but not monetary value. It has the value of memory and sentiment attached to it. I first understood the word when she related the value of this sewing machine to me. It was her mother’s and it may possibly be the only personal item she had of her mom’s. She learned to sew on it. She tried to teach me to sew on it too. It was more valuable to her than money – it’s meaning was priceless.
As a photographer it occurred to me that I could photograph some of these personal things and try to create a portrait of someone without actually showing their image – could you get a sense of who they are just from the things that were precious to them? Can the photos tell the story better than words?
Sometimes I find everyday objects like this evoke more in me that a photo of someone I love. I pick up my grandfather’s keys and touch the places where his hands have worn the metal bare and almost sense him there with me.
This is my neighbor, Mary Jane. She is almost 99 years old. She lives in a house with no running water and only recently quit walking the mile to the grocery store. She is a year older than my Grandma would have been and I live in the home her father built in 1919 about a mile away from her place.
Mary Jane is an interesting character. She loves to garden and hike (she can still do 3-5 miles with me). There is a side of her that is almost childlike. She has some cats and loves them, but she loves almost any animal that comes around.
She was having some electrical issues at the house so my brother checked out the wiring for me on a visit. What we found in the attic was amazing and a little more than I was ready for. Raccoons had been nesting up there, probably for years – what a mess. We have fixed the electric – but Mary Jane loves her upstairs neighbors. She has relegated them to just a dormer now, but I’m pretty sure she continues to make the peanut butter sandwiches.
Window shopper waiting for dinner.
The Sandwich King
The brave one
Bored with it all.
It may be unconventional – but I want to be like Mary Jane when I grow up – loving life, active, strong, and just a little childlike.
I moved to the Ozarks about a decade ago. I no longer live in the city and have a neighbor 10 feet away. I bought an old farmhouse on 7 acres about 5 miles from town. Close enough to be able to get the things you need to get by, far enough away to see stars at night. My first year was all about learning the rhythms of nature through the seasons. Peepers and whippoorwills start talking in May, tree frogs in June, cicadas in July and August – it all goes quiet again in October.
My first spring here I noticed that if a light was on in a room at night that flying insects would congregate on the windows – sometimes lots of them. If ladybugs get into the house they will hit their shells against the table lamp or TV looking for the light. One night I heard a very loud flutter against the living room window – it sounded like a bird crashed! I heard it again and saw something the color of a tennis ball swirl in the light and heard the window shake. I went outside and thought it might be a great green parakeet or something – but the flight pattern was so circular and random.
The next morning I went outside and saw the culprit – it was a Luna Moth. Now at the time I had no idea what that was – it’s color was amazing, but it was huge, larger than the palm of my hand! It was so beautiful that I watched for it to arrive the next night and it did. It only visited me for a few days and it was gone – until the next spring.
What follows is my photo study of this years visitors. Typically a moth lasts for 10 days and dies. A new generation arrives about 10 days later and after it dies they are gone for the year.
This shot is taken from inside my screen door – their bodies look a lot like the pupae stage of the moth.
Their bodies are covered with scales that look like fur
They vary a bit in size and vividness.
That crazy flight pattern is how the males find the females – those antenna pick up the scent
Their tales flutter wildly when they fly
This shot was taken with a 40 year old Macro lens on a bellows
They eyespots have a translucent center.
This guy got into my house and I was worried he would hurt himself before I got him out the door.
I would leave my porch light on in the day time so that this one would stay.
This one fell off the screen as I tried to close it – he rested on my step for about an hour.
The edges of their wings almost look like woven tapestry to me.
Sometimes the lower wings have a scalloped shape.
This one was smaller than the rest and he stayed perched inside my smaller light fixture on the back porch.
This image was also captured with a manual macro lens and bellows – in it you can see the scale structure clearly.
This is another macro and bellows shot of just the antenna.
So now they are gone. Summer is on it’s way in the Ozarks.