this little light of mine…
(click photo for best view)
first sign of summer in Louisiana swamps….the gators come out to play ;)
'the last place on Earth'
(click on photo for best view)
PHOTOGRAPHER FOCUS · Monica Dionne
Essentially, a photograph is a document. The act of pressing the shutter of our camera unleashes a process in which a moment of reality -an event, a place, a person … - is fixed indelibly by the chemistry or the electronics, so that after this, that reality may change, even disappear, but our photography will offer a testimony forever linked to that portion of what interested us, or touched us inside at the time of shooting. It is a means of documenting what it is, or what it was, to fix on that sort of recreated memory what should not fade into oblivion.
Some of this comes to my mind when I look at the magnificent photographs of Monica in the light of the words that she herself has written in the presentation of her blog: “This is my Louisiana …” she says, after making a beautiful evocation of what is certainly a simpler way of life, less dominated by the pressures and the rush of other environments: a life that moves a little slower, and which still seems to hold the imprint of another time. And if you look closely, you will see what beats in her photography is a certain nostalgia for the old South; so it was, and so it is still, in many of its beautiful places: the solitary paths and the untamed forests barely trod by man, the quiet rivers, its old farms and the rural life … Through the camera of Monica, all that seems to form an entity in itself which longs to be immune to the passage of time and which is unrelated to the presence of man, completely absent from her beautiful snapshots. Monica strives to capture in all these pictures the essence of the land she loves before it, perhaps, changes. ‘This is my Louisiana ... “
In Monica’s landscapes there is no abundance of large views, or open horizons, nor the search of the grandiosity in the scenarios. Before that, it could be said that she prefers a purposeful approach to the places she wants to show us, to prove her taste for the concrete detail, or the closest view, whether it be the soft banks of a river, or the deepest nook of a dense forest. It’s like if she wished to offer us a complete picture of her homeland by the means of a mosaic formed with the captures of its most beautiful places. To do this, Monica usually shoots with relatively long focals (for landscape), preferring vertical to horizontal frames and managing admirably the light, even in dark or foggy environments. And as for the latter, I hope not to embarrass her if I say that I don’t remember having seen other misty landscapes more captivating than hers.
And where it’s easier to see that sort of longing that we said underlies Monica’s work, is in her beautiful snapshots of rural life. It is in them where we perceive more intensely the evocation of the calm country life. There is in those farms, the silent barns or in the old fences separating the fields, a certain beautiful melancholy that is intensified by the serene decadence of these objects and places, or by the absence of people in them … maybe it’s the latter that finishes by misplacing temporarily those scenes, subjected through the Monica’s lens. Whatever be the case, these images are lavish in beautiful colors and textures, or intense contrasts, when she chooses B & W. In this medium she doesn’t renounce to search for beauty in the closest approach to the objects, sometimes taking on an almost minimalist, or definitely abstract viewpoint.
Monica told me that she eats, sleeps and dreams of making pictures. Naturally, this is only possible if you convert your camera in a conscious extension of your eyes and analyze everything that surrounds you as a subject matter for being photographed. She always carries her camera with her: a compact Fuji Finepix S2940, which is always in her bag ready to use on any occasion, to put into practice her philosophy in photography, which is no other, -in her own words-, than to find the things she loves … and shoot them often.
My most sincere thanks to The Photographers Society and to Juan for this feature. Such an honor and so very exciting, I appreciate it very much.
Spring ~ Kisatchie National Forest