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