Scenic Humor

Leaf recyle and dropoff in Barrington April 2014

A great landscape photograph – a scenic that truly works – takes a lot of time and effort. It is rarely just a pretty scene you come upon. It’s planning and patience, a balance of light and composition, and repeated failure until you get the version of an image that takes your breath away just as it did when you experienced it in real life.

True confession: I don’t get scenics. When I am standing on the mountain and seeing a heart-stopping site, the last thing I want to do is take a photo of it.

But when I do, (I am a photographer after all), I take the picture to remember how much I loved where I was. Scenics for most people are attempts to make a memory of a place, not art.

I like my landscapes slightly askew, awkward, images with a sprinkle of humor.

I want a person or a horse or maybe a monkey to walk into the frame. Traits that do not translate well in this photographic category.

The masters – the Ansel Adamses of the world – are all business and produce art that touches everyone. Me? I just want to have fun.

Exhibit A: A Barrington friend once best described her hometown life as living on another planet. I thought I found that realized in an image I made at the leaf dump along Route 114: The rotting yard debris made for an unreal surface, and the threatening dark clouds reflected in the brown water.

It all just worked for me, and I thought it was creepy and funny at the same time. …

copyright 2014 Kris Craig / The Providence Journal