Art in Residence - Lori Carey

March 15, 2019  •  7 Comments

I wish I took it.  That was my first thought upon seeing this in Lori's Twitter feed.  She had entered it into a Vermont gallery contest and it was selected for their exhibition (A Sense of Place).  Couldn't agree more with their selection.   I just stared at it for what seemed an entire afternoon and a few months later (don't know why it took months) I bought it from her website.  Her well-written blog entry on this image (which also took an honorable mention in an LA Photo exhibition), is here: Breaking the Rules - What Remains, Honorable Mention.  

There is a strong sense of place here.  It's not much of a building, a corrugated metal structure not much larger than a shed, all alone on Carrizo Plain.  A beaten path leads around it but oddly not to it.  My guess is that you park the tractor in front and walk to the structure, yet there is no worn path to the structure's entrance leading me to believe this ancient building has been left abandoned for years.  As far as I can tell the empty landscape goes on for miles beyond the frame.  It's a dark, cheerless scene but not foreboding; a bit sad.  Had Lori taken this on a bright, sunny California day it would take on an entirely different persona.  Let's be glad she was there when she was. 
It's the kind of building all but a photographer would pass by.  Nothing to see here, right? Lori did. She saw the perfect geometry of a slanted roof placed on strong vertical lines and set against a lightly textured sky. The dark and muted color palette blends the landscape but pushes the muscular building forward to stand visually fixed against it, dominant. 

It's a beautiful image.  I'm glad I own it.  I wish I took it. 



Very keen observations of this excellent photograph. I do like the circular "road/path" surrounding it. It seems to separate it like a moat, adding a bit more intrigue at what may be inside.
Gary Crabbe(non-registered)
Love it! Fantastic choice and congrats to Lori for the great shot and Joe for the wise choice on the acquisition. :)
Todd Henson(non-registered)
Another great entry in this series, Joe. I love the slightly moody feel that the clouds and vignetting contribute to. As you so well described, it's such a simple subject, but in the eyes of the right photographer at the right time it turns into a work of art. Thanks once again for introducing me to another photographer's work who I'd been unfamiliar with.
Joe, thank you so much for your wonderful comments, I'm humbled! Telling another photographer that you wish you took the photo is the highest praise there is. Since I rarely take traditionally "pretty" landscape photos it really means a lot to me when someone connects with one of my images and can see what I saw, especially the emotion it invoked in me. I was very fortunate to be there on a stormy day to photograph the abandoned farms and homesteads because you are so right, it would be a completely different photo on a sunny day (although it would make for an interesting contrast study to photograph it again on a sunny day when all of the wildflowers are in bloom). I really have Marc Briggs to thank for spending three days in the rain to show me his favorite out-of-way locations at Carrizo Plain and knowing exactly the kind of places and images I'd be most interested in.

I had to laugh at JC's comment because it is exactly the type of photo that barely gets a look on social media! But I did feel strongly about it, entered it into two exhibitions and it was accepted for both, which helps remind me to stick with my gut and not rely solely on social media popularity (or lack of) as any kind of measure.

And now I know who bought that print haha, thank you! I've started printing my own work again after a hiatus of a few years, and if you e-mail me with your mailing address I'd love to send you an "Artist's Edition" copy of the print.
T.M. Schultze(non-registered)
This is a great series. Hurray to Lori!
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