I thought I had already posted this image on mybigphatphotographs. But I see that I haven’t. It’s a self portrait from the same time period and same space as the previous posted Too Many Me’s. While I lived on St John USVI, I had the distinct experience of Hurricane Hugo. Many houses were destroyed by the storm, including the one next door to where I lived. The roof was blown off, and virtually everything inside was blown away or shredded. All that remained was the house’s masonry walls. Weeks after the storm and after the contents of house had been removed, I started using the blown house’s interior as a natural light studio. I made a series of portraits there, including a bunch of self portraits. This one, Deus Ex Machina, is my favorite. I have a 20″x24″ print of it over my desk in my “lightroom”, and, for me, it certainly stands the test of time. I made it with 4×5 view camera and a 90mm lens.
This image has always resonated of Tina Modatti’s hands of the Puppeteer (above); I remember thinking of it I as I played with the shadows of my hands on the white wall before I made the exposure. And as a sidebar, I’d urge that anyone interested: to read about and to explore her relationship with Edward Weston, particularly in Weston’s Day Books. I especially found their year together in Mexico during the mid 1920’s fascinating. He taught her photography; and in some respects, I think she became the better photographer of the two. And what a time to be an artist living in Mexico.