Kokoro - Wandering Through a Photographic Life

Backstage Kokoro

A "behind-the-scenes" look at selected images in my Kokoro project —
Content, photographic notes, EXIF data, creative process, miscellaneous commentary, and original digital captures. And now with additional audio comments about selected images!

From Kokoro #023 - Gestures of a Primitive Mind

So often I find that a project starts with a single image that sparks an idea, which then blossoms into something far larger than a single photograph. This is the image that started this project. I couldn't help but think that this blade of grass was making some calligraphic gesture — a purposeful calligraphic gesture. With that thought, the rest was simply working out the logistics — the photographic treatment, writing a bit of text, and sequencing the images.

In fact, this method describes the genesis of almost every example here in Kokoro. A single image plants a seed, from which grows a thought, which eventually matures into these small photo essays.

We fine art photographers are not trained to think in these terms. Instead, the pursuit of a "greatest hit" image to be matted and framed like a painting has dominated fine art photography for 100 years. It took me quite a while to let go of that pursuit and instead listen to the little stories and sparks of inspiration that spring from my photographs. It is a dialog where only whispers can occur. I've learned that listening to my images is the heart of my artistic process — a challenge not often discussed in photography class.

Original is from film. This was one of the first times I had ever used a medium format camera — in this case, a Fuji 6x9 rangefinder. The images were photographed on one glorious afternoon, November 8, 1996, after a week of being confined in a cabin on the Oregon Coast due to inclement weather. The sun finally broke out on my last day and illuminated these beach grasses with the low-angled sun of winter. Simply magical!
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Brooks Jensen

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