In the Gallery
First of all, I would like to thank two people, without whom this project would not have been possible, my pilots. My first pilot, Jim Chick, I got to know through the Land Conservancy of Adams County. Jim is a retired airline pilot and Navy flier. I have flown with him a number of times, and have always felt safe in the hands of an accomplished and patient professional; willing to go where I wanted to go, and go back around again if need be.
My other pilot is David Salisbury, the current president of The Land Conservancy. Amongst his many accomplishments, David is a licensed helicopter pilot, with his own aircraft. Like Jim, David Has been patient and supportive, and has helped immensely with his enthusiasm for what I am trying to accomplish. And as for his flying skills, I will just say that I, terrified of heights, fear nothing when I am with David. This is even with the door of the helicopter taken off.
The photographs exhibited here have been taken over a number of years, yet they barely convey the beauty and diversity of Adams County from the air. The immense variety of the topography and the overlying film of civilization on the surface is a subject that I could explore for many more years. There are many striking visual elements to the landscape that are not apparent from the ground, but which even a few feet of elevation can reveal dramatically. South Mountain changes dramatically, from a series of wooded ridges to what looks like a a rumpled carpet draped over the landscape. The orchards, especially in Spring, are very different from above, with the rows of trees wrapping around the hills and blending together in bright colors of blossoms. These patterns, dictated by the contours of the land, can also be dramatic in the tilled fields and pastures. And, there is fall, when the woodlots and orchards are in full color.
What I am interested in at this point, having made these photos, are the numerous orchard ponds. Seen from the air, they at times can be perfect mirrors of the sky, very different from the land around them.
A note about the photographs. I have always been interested in large photographs and murals, and how they become windows and change the perception of the spaces they are in. New technology, including the Large-scale inkjet printer, make it practical to work in this way. Inkjet printers are used to produce graphics and signage, and there are a huge variety of materials available to print on. The paper used here is called Print-n-Stick, which describes it well. It is a thin, textured, vinyl material, somewhat like wallpaper. It can be applied to just about surface, and will bond tightly. Yet, it can be removed and reused. For me, the fact that the paper comes in large sizes makes it an integral part of the aesthetic content of the photos.
I would like to thank The Adams County Arts Council for “loaning” me their wall space. Now, if I could just find some more walls…