My Most Hated Tautology Is “It Is What It Is.”

That being said, this image is, like Tadao Ando’s architecture, pretty concrete. I’m trying to figure out what it is that has me pursuing non-representational imagery on one hand, and shooting such stripped-down, straight-forward representation on the other. Maybe they are somehow connected; one is the type of pure abstraction I find compelling in painting, while the other abstracts an object from all of its context; one is simply image, and another is as simple as an image can get.

To a large extent, this type of shot is simply an exercise is learning to control studio light and isolate a subject completely from a background. In being an exercise, I guess there has to be a point. I can’t say I know what that is beyond the technical skill of low-key photography. Also, since there is nothing else to look at in the image, it can be an exercise in looking at a subject. Rather than relying on context to make the subject interesting, the way the subject itself is depicted has to carry the image.

I must admit to being a Hanon junky. It’s easy to fall in love with the beauty of Chopin etudes, but there is also something austerely beautiful about them…I don’t know whether to say it’s their rigid rhythm and structure, or their similarity to waves. While they might not make for wonderful listening in a concert hall, I still find them relaxing and elegant. Playing through them over time, you can feel your fingers becoming more agile, your technique more fluid, and all the other pieces I [try to] play on the piano become easier, too.

So what’s in this image? Technique, simplicity, discipline, thought. And a pine cone. Can’t forget the pine cone.