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Come in! There are a few adventures I’ve written about, but most of the content offers classes in photography and mentoring for photographers, including photo theory, which, although a vital part in our profession, is largely an overlooked subject in all published media that profits from and feeds our gadget minded mindset today.

Photography As ART – FOSSIL series – Scene 10

April 21 2017 - Photography As ART

Image 64 show ruins of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background. Image 65 of an excavation in Pompeii show fossilized citizens from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD in pans, tilts, zooms, and in full.





Soon after DOUBLE VISION, James moved forward on a new series that had come to mind. In 1996 media attention was given to archaeological discoveries in and around Pompeii when it was added to the World Monuments Watch. The historic Roman city was buried in volcanic ash by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. This gave James the idea of visualizing his own archaeological dig to sweeping away earth to find beautiful artifacts.


Image 66 and Image 67 shows a BEACH FOSSILS in pans, tilts, zooms, and in full.







The first attempts were made on the beach. It seemed like the obvious location, but this turned out to present several problems; no control over exposing my muse to sunlight, no simple way to photograph straight down to capture the excavated area, and the scene attracted attention from beach-goers. Another approach had to be considered.

Image 68 shows the MUSE, Cleveland in her woods overlooking Edgartown Pond. Image 69 shows a sketch of the working plan for the FOSSIL SERIES, followed by Image 70 the ANGEL FOSSIL in pans, tilts, zooms, and in full.




The new set to stage this series was taken into the woods. It was told that Cleveland had inherited some eight valuable acres of wooded property by Edgartown Pond, and it was there James searched for and found a location that was almost ideal.


It had a shaded flat area between two trees. A heavy rope could be attached and run across between them, against which a tall ladder could rest, from which James could shoot down. There was only one thing missing – mold-able sand. This problem was solved by four 2x12x8 lumber boards






Image 71 shows the BACKSIDE FOSSIL in pans, tilts, zooms, and in full.


The photographic process went like this: A pose would be decided upon and James would dig a trench in the sand to fit it. The Muse would lie in the trench. She was asked to take shallow breaths and while carefully being covered in sand. The sand would then be swept away with a broom until the right form was achieved, after which James would quickly climb the ladder to take several shots straight down at the Muse in the box. This BACKSIDE FOSSIL shown here is a favorite, though it had an additional impediment of enabling the muse to breathe; she had to stay in position for about twenty minutes. This was resolved by running a tube outside the box.

Image 72 shows the DOUBLE FOSSIL in pans, tilts, zooms, and in full.


This series was beginning to enter another phase of using two or more fossil models when personal problems ended work for several years.

THE END of Scene Ten