Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Blue Bird
Susquehanna River
Stephen W Pidcock 2012

I am a bit reluctant to reveal that I am still so fascinated with nature’s design.
It’s a kid like “wonderment” at times.
Oceans are an amazing and awe inspiring environment found only in books and on
National Geographic specials on TV where I grew up in semi-arid northwest Colorado.

Moving to the mid-atlantic area gave me some exposure.
One day walking the beach with my wife, I found an amazing shell, and the living resident along with it. My wife educated me on the creature. Even though I studied biology in college I had not seen a quahog this large before.
I am sure that many quahogs wash ashore and make their safe return to the ocean as a projectile and many more onto seafood menus.
These shells seemed to be strong and inpenetratable alien space ships, aeronautical forms, yet meant to be slow steady creatures with one foot on the ground.
"The Cloak”
Susquehanna River
Stephen W Pidcock 2012
The enclosed structure was fat, bulky, colorful and captivating. I studied the details of the ridges, layers and symmetry. I looked closely at the designs where the two halves joined. A playing card spade, or a heart shape. I wanted to press the form into mud or clay to retain the shape and make a plaster mold of it. I took this creature on an adventure pressing the butt end into various degrees of wet sand that I could find hoping to keep the design somehow. I went farther from the water looking for any kind of left over pool or mud, to no avail.

I stumbled upon another windswept design in the sand of diamonds patterns crisscrossed in perfect ratio. Caught again by design, I returned the quahog projectile fashion back safely to it’s home and then was back to study the sand patterns.

I don’t recall if anyone else was on the beach that day, but if they were watching me it may have been amusing to see me discover the wonders of the universe in the simplest of elements.

It’s this fascination with nature’s art that I find the vision of natural water reflections. Shapes, textures, and colors that symbolize the familiar forms that I photograph. I find the rush and pace of life that our culture and society whirl through time with leaves out so many images and experiences with earth.The small amount of time on the water has allowed me to reconnect with the art of nature.

I value these images and capture moments of sitting and watching nature reveal itself to me in unique form. I hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Join me this week in Wilkes Barre Pa for the art festival May 16-19 2013 for more prints of natures amazing reflective art.


Friday, April 12, 2013

“Your Passport Please"

Musquakie, Chief Yellowhead”
Georgian Bay Ontario Canada
Photography Stephen W Pidcock 

“Your Passport Please”

I have been granted a passport into an imaginary land.
I usually pass through the customs gates and am required to
turn over any logic of vision. The port of entry can be an easy
unencumbered stroll through security or it can be a
brutal interrogation of why I would dare show up in such a 
hurried state of mind. If I am denied entry it is based upon my
rational thoughts holding me hostage and entry requires me to
unpack the cares of the day, leaving some items at the gates.
That takes time, and time is precious when light changes.

I like the evening to photograph, the stillness of calm twilight. Beginning
moments of shadows that grow into hollow eyes and cheek bones.
I want the world to stop. I want the sun to hold it’s position. I want the
moments of perfect light to stay and not pass by so quickly. 
I can’t capture it all. I think I will return tomorrow afternoon and 
start again but the stillness may not be there, the water level may change,
the wind may be blowing, the clouds may not be the same. 
I may not be given entry to this imaginary land again.
I think the time to savor the moment is now. 

In my journeys, the inhabitants have allowed me to bring back their portraits.
Some resemble co-workers, past school teachers, (Shirley)
celebrities, faces from the dark side, humorous beings,  
and beings within beings.
I am often asked if I see these faces before I take the photograph. 
I do... and as I process, print, and enjoy the art  on my wall I usually 
find more than what I initially photographed. Like little gifts hidden in my
luggage by those who have a story to tell. “When you get back to your 
country tell them about us”. Like old friends with different moods,
they can reveal themselves and be so open and other times they
can hide behind a mask of rock and waves. 

Dark falls. I put my camera away. I am forced from this country. 
No one asks for my passport on the way out. 
I am ushered out to a lingering blue light on the horizon and stars begin
to peak through a dark background. I am aware of the water pushing against
the bow of my boat and the splash of the paddle. In the summer I hear
frogs and insects calling. In the fall I see wisps of fog rising as the temperature

I navigate to the landing. 

At home again, I print and display these images and I am reminded of 
moments inside a place that I will never enter again. 
Not that I won’t return.
I will enter the same river, the same portal, and the same customs agents 
asking for my passport please and hopefully, with a new perspective, 
enter a different land.

Steve Pidcock

April 6-27th 2013  “Faces of the Susquehanna” is on display at The Framers Gallery 3708 E Market St
York PA

Friday, May 25, 2012

       Why do I seem to be so intrigued with a bunch of sticks and a rock on a river bank at dusk? As I'm pondering that thought I can hear the whispering, that voice, in the stillness. Maybe you know one like it, pestering thoughts, that just won't let it go. I need that little voice. The one that says "Jump!.... no wait!... don't jump!" after I am already committed to the air.
In this case as I landed on my side and when the water ripples finally smoothed out again, I saw this set of eyes looking me over with that set of ..."Brows" .
I was a  bit uncomfortable at first. Then I recognized the face or rather the brows. The voice was half right.

In my teen years I had met this older refined gentlemen with the biggest grey eyebrows. He was a wonderful guy in a grandfatherly sort of way. He would shuffle into the gas station where I worked and take an occasional nap on the stacked cases of oil in the back room while I would either change the oil in his car or change his tires. Some days he would just show up for no reason other than to get out of the house and nap.

There were always a few free range, uncut, untrimmed, stragglers in the amount of hair above his eyes.The guys with thinning hair would covet the thick wooly bears on his forehead.

I liked the guy he was never in a hurry and always treated me kindly, asking if I had time to change the  "Firestones". The summer tires to the winter treads, or put in some Quakerstate.

It can wonder a guy at times, how a rock and a few twigs can take him back to the teen years at a gas station. I continued to recalled the time I would try to wake the "oil case snoozer" up, by airing up a tire on the changer. I would watch and wait for the seal to loudly pop into place. Even though I knew it was coming, I always jumped. He just slept on through it with that slight snoozing sound until he had finished his 18 holes of nap on the "cases".
I decided not to name this image after Mr. Purdy even though it reminds me of him, but I am torn between  "Firestone" or "Quakerstate".
What's your vote?


Sunday, May 20, 2012

"My Blue Headache"
  More Susquehanna Reflections

How many times have we traveled the same route out of habit and are so familiar with the surroundings that we don't allow the subtle differences to capture us?

Time of day and year can change a view of a rock. I have photographed this same rock many times and the differences between each one is striking. This is my favorite image so far of this area.
 Fall evenings can be quite, and calm, on the water. School has started and mid week activities allow for stillness and reflections. This was one of those nights. The stillness was deafening, only the sound of water dripping off the paddle could be heard, or the occasional bird in flight as it's wings beat the air.

I have this one hanging in landscape view on my living room wall at this moment in a large canvas. 
The stillness of the water brings back that amazing still evening in fall. I turn it occasionally though and enjoy the intriguing symmetry of the faces. I see more than one faces and still find something different as I walk by or happen to notice something new even though it's been there a few months.

 I haven't named this one yet and could use some help.
I would like to open a name this image contest and have you vote on the best name

If you submit a name in the comments section of this blog, I will mail a postcard of the book cover to you. ( You can email me your snail mail address).

I will collect all the names and in the future will have a vote on the most popular name.

 (Could it be MBH, the title of the post, Schwarbie?, Omar?, Jasper?,Third Eye Weeping?, My Friend Manny? Tibedauex's Big Toe?, Mrs Winters... Angry Piano Teacher?)  Ok it stirred up too much about my past already.

Me: "I'm putting em down... you picking em up?"

You: "Well Steve you just named it , didn't you?"

Me:  "No... I am ineligible to win, and I already have one of these prints anyway."

You:  "Does it come with batteries?"

Me:  "Again, No... batteries not included"

(Honestly, some of the questions I get...)

You can view the cover of the book at the top of the page or see it here.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Lutz
I remember the time I captured this reflection. I was with my friend, Joel Diffendarfer. We were working together  and took off early one fall afternoon to hit the river with our kayaks. The amazing afternoon of fall colors. A warm late afternoon turning into cool evenings. I had been clicking the shutter and not able to take stock of all the pics I had gathered.
Darkness fell as we pulled off the water and loaded up the boat. On the drive home Joel took the  camera and flipped through the days events. He pulled this one up in the view finder as we crossed the bridge.
This photo reminds me of a friend, Deter Lutz.
Besides being a great guy, amazing friend, and quite a great singer / songwriter, I think Deter has a similar smile and so I thought it appropriate to name this image  " The Lutz".

For more photos you can click here 

Friday, May 18, 2012


There are times that you just "know" without really knowing, a sensing that something is close by but not really sure what it is. I had this intuition, that little nudge that if I stuck around this certain section of river that I would discover something amazing. I didn't move fast, in fact I circled around this area on more than one outing, looking at this rock from different distances and angles. The current would be moving pretty fast in some of this area, so I had to keep on circling back to it till I found the right spot. Then I hit it and this is it. 

 I like the name. It's strong and noble and reminds me of a gladiator anyway. 

I met this couple at an art show in Frederick Md last year before I used the name Maximus for this print. Mat and Trish the glass blowers from Muncey PA. I watched them unload their truck with Maximus in big letters on the back window, and then Mat had a tattoo of Maximus on his arm.
The story of Maximus, Mat's son, lost his battle with immune deficiency  at the very young age of six. The name fit the photo image for me and reminds me every time that we can be tough as rocks yet life is still so fragile and fleeting. 

You can check out Trish and Mat the glass artists here 

AND find more photos of the Susquehanna, as well as other locations.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"River Sentinel"

The "River Sentinel" works both ways for landscape and portrait. We paddled by this rock on the Lower Susquehanna and found this view. 
It was mid day, not the best for ambient light, but it worked with the shadows that would form the illusion of eyes and mouth. Later evening is not as drastic an image for the facial features. 
As the sunlight and water levels change, this rock face fades away to a beautiful landscape stone surface.

You can view more images from the website