And now ...

Chance encounters change lives.  Close friends, passing acquaintances and even characters who emerge from old books often leave footprints across my heart.  By opening mysterious doors, the influence of others has inadvertently altered the direction of my life.

Colin Monteath, extracted from Under A Sheltering Sky.

And now ... I am beginning work on a long-talked about book.  Years of ideas have reached a point where I must begin working with them.

When I walk on beaches, I pick up shells ... I'm a sometimes collector.  Stones too, when I wander along the edges of rivers and lakes.  Since I was small.

My photography, I think, emerges out of that same desire to collect, to handle, to pore over later.  But to collect, without ever stopping to enjoy, that seems somehow sad.

So here I am, commiting to this book, for months ... at least a year I think.  That is something I haven't excelled in.  I have so many ideas, so many passions, project ideas.  And I try to follow them all. 

These last two months have been months of insanely beautiful chaos and whimsical impulses ... of action.  People. Places.

But I must have been maturing somehow ... like a wine (I hope, avoiding the old and smelly maturation process we call rotting).  I feel ready to attempt to breathe life into a multi-layered story, using the words and images I have been collecting, to create a portrait of a place I love.

In my people portraits the intention is always about capturing a soul ... something of the true essence of a person.  Now to lift that impulse, that desire, and fit it over a city, over a region, and tell how place can capture a heart.

There will be a photography exhibition in December, here at home I am hoping.  A party.  And there are plans for limited edition print runs, postcards ... but woven so very closely into this book project that I think it will all work.  There will be a series of photography workshop beginning in Spring 2014, and I will leave my door open for one-on-one workshops too but mostly, I'll be here at the desk and working on images and ideas collected since 2008.

And so, here I am, announcing it ... the intention.  Now to work.