STOPPED IN MY TRACKS…HIROSHI SUGIMOTO & A SEA OF CHANGE

 I WANT TO SEE THE SEA

The sea has always appealed to me and whenever I am in its presence I feel grateful and contemplative.

Perhaps because it is one of the few features on the planet that truly gives you an idea of our insignificant scale in comparison to the greater picture of nature.

Perhaps because the land is safe and familiar and the sea is unknown.  On land Human kind can dominate, in the sea we would drop several rungs on the food chain.

More likely, I think it is the movement that I enjoy – the sea is never completely still and is a constantly changing picture that will never appear the same from one second to the next.

My new drive to work involves and early skirt along the side of the Hastings shore line and a constant battle between concentrating on the road and the sea in equal measure.

The other morning the sea mist was out early and created that effect where you cannot quite tell where sea ends and sky begins.  I reckon that is my favorite of all sea views and fills me with a strange desire to start swimming toward the invisible horizon to see if it can ever be reached.

But…that would be stupid and, despite the rumours and accusations – I am not a stupid man.  So on this particular morning, I just Photographed it instead.

SEA WITH NO HORIZON i (2011)

SEA WITH NO HORIZON ii (2011)

 HIROSHI SUGIMOTO ‘SEASCAPES’

Photographing the sea is hard however as I am always reminded of Hiroshi Sugimoto, who, in my humble of humblest has made the most beautiful images of the sea that anyone is likely to take. As a result, I feel for me to photograph the sea in any serious manner is a pointless pursuit as I cannot conceive of a way in which to do it any better or even any different for that matter. Scrub that, I fail to see how I could even get close to something resembling his images.  His series of black and white photographs entitled ‘Seascapes’ are now one of the first things I think of when contemplating the ocean.

Rest assured, if I won the lottery tomorrow (or any day for that matter), one of the first things I would do is purchase one of Sugimoto’s seascapes and hang it proudly on my wall so I could bask in its glory each and every day.  Simple, technically perfect and beautiful.

Maybe Sugimoto’s comments on his Seascapes project say it best, and so I will leave you with those as well as a few of his perfect photographs. Notice if you will how every detail has been perfectly considered, right down to the horizon line always falling in the exact same spot in each image.

Water and air. So very commonplace are these substances, they hardly attract

attention―and yet they vouchsafe our very existence.

The beginnings of life are shrouded in myth: Let there water and air. Living phenomena

spontaneously generated from water and air in the presence of light, though that could

just as easily suggest random coincidence as a Deity. Let’s just say that there happened

to be a planet with water and air in our solar system, and moreover at precisely the right

distance from the sun for the temperatures required to coax forth life. While hardly

inconceivable that at least one such planet should exist in the vast reaches of universe,

we search in vain for another similar example.

Mystery of mysteries, water and air are right there before us in the sea. Every time I view

the sea, I feel a calming sense of security, as if visiting my ancestral home; I embark on a

voyage of seeing.

HIROSHI SUGIMOTO, AEGEAN SEA PILLON, 1990

HIROSHI SUGIMOTO, BALTIC SEA RUEGEN, 1996

HIROSHI SUGIMOTO, LIGURIAN SEA SAVIORE 1993

HIROSHI SUGIMOTO, NORTH ATLANTIC CAPE BRETON, 1996

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For those who are not familiar with his work, check out Hiroshi Sugimotos website: www.sugimotohiroshi.com for a wealth of epic and quite lovely images.

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