Sights Unseen

Our favorite pictures that didn’t run this year

Sun, Jan 4, 2009 (2 a.m.)

Opposites attract. Sometimes, in going over a year’s work, one finds unexpected relationships between seemingly opposite photographs. Is this pure chance, serendipity or the work of the unconscious, always leading us down a familiar path? Perhaps the attraction is not to either of the individual moments, but to a third thing — the resonance of the images as a pair. In pairs, they reflect and contradict each other, yet they build into a composite whole, which may be better than either of the individual frames.

Ready for the shot

Here there’s a collision of my animated daughter and a once-animate deer that seems to be patiently waiting for the opening of “human season.” The six-point camouflage-clad mannequin takes a stand outside a taxidermy shop in De Soto, Wis., while my daughter, Aria Morris, laughs as she waits for me to figure out my 1940s-era Speed Graphic camera for a portrait in our back yard.

Bookends at the convention

These were the first and last photos I shot covering the Republican National Convention in September. Walking through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on arrival, I decided to capture something that said “welcome.” I shot a welcome sign on the ground without showing the faces of the people, to focus more attention on the sign. Coincidentally, the last photos I shot on my way out of St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center were also of feet. But these people were decidedly more tired and had shed their shoes after five days of speeches, meetings and lavish parties.

Seeing the Light

The shape of the bluffs along the Mississippi River in Lansing, Iowa, mimics the shape of the siltstone formation at Cathedral Gorge State Park near Panaca in eastern Nevada. The steeple of the Immaculate Conception Church poking out of the trees echoes the rock steeples of Cathedral Gorge half a continent away. The daylight on the lush arboreal hills contrasts with the stark desert landscape, captured by a technique called “light painting,” which uses a long exposure to combine moonlight and selective lighting of an object with a flash light.

Back to top


Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy