PhotoPlace Gallery, 3 Park Street, Middlebury, VT 05753
Photographs that convey a “sense of place” blend the physical characteristics of a scene, landscape or object with the mysterious essence that emerges from gradually and perhaps unconsciously inhabiting a place over time. The photograph ceases to become an objective document. Instead, it takes on a particular feeling that is invested with something that is often intangible, revealing a deeper understanding of what lies beneath the surface.
How is this “sense of place” communicated in a photograph? Many components including light, content and composition are important, as are clarity and craftsmanship. A well made photograph, for me, is the visual equivalent of a poem, evoking feelings and emotions. A quote from an essay in The Atlantic by Mark Yakich, “What Is a Poem,” states… “A poem helps the mind play with its well-trod patterns of thought, and can even help reroute those patterns by making us see the familiar anew.”
Subjectivity, of course, is inevitable. Selecting photographs is necessarily contingent of the particular jurors taste and aesthetic. That said, it was a privilege and honor to jury “A Sense of Place.”
Jane Fulton Alt