I was thrilled and honored to be invited to be interviewed by Museum TV, a French TV channel dedicated to art. The March 2018 interview was held in New York City. The producers graciously permitted me to make it available on my website.
To watch the video, enter the password:
I find that It is good exercise to review the photos I took in the year past and to choose the ones I like the best. This process gives me the perspective of time to see what worked, what did not, and how I "see" and make images may have changed from the year before — hopefully for the better. Here are the 12 photos I selected from 2017.
With a little imagination, one can pretend to be looking at a scene from the Middle Ages.
More images from Morocco.
Images from the Moroccan desert.
More images from Morocco's Kasbah of the Glaouis in Telouet.
After Morocco's independence in 1956, the Glaoui family was evicted and the kasbah was left to ruin. These photographs are of the opulent interior rooms, slowly decaying.
For the next few posts, I will be putting up photos from a trip to Morocco this past April.
The Domino Sugar Refinery on the East River in Queens, New York, ceased operations several years ago and now awaits an uncertain future. I took this photo last summer on a fast-moving water taxi, so I didn't have much time to think about how to shoot it. I was attracted to the colorful tanks in the center, the angled shafts between the buildings, and the overall look of an industrial ruin.
A juried photography exhibit in the New Marlborough, MA Meeting House Gallery, which ended in June, included two of my recent prints. One was taken in Lima on a trip to Peru, the other in Manhattan.
The TriCorner News, a local newspaper that covers towns in northwest Connecticut, southwest Massachusetts, and nearby New York, reviewed the show and said:
Lee Backer entered two wonderfully different shots. In “Amarillo,” a study in diagonals, light and shadow, a boy and girl sit on a low concrete or adobe wall, their backs to us. In front of them is a reddish wall partially in heavy shadow, behind them a sunlit downward sloping path. In “Alice Tully Hall,” the vertical panels of the refurbished Lincoln Center theater reflect the activity of the busy Broadway neighborhood. It is prismatic, bright, colorful.
"Good artists copy, great artists steal." - Pablo Picasso
A few years ago I took a workshop with Bruce Barnbaum. During the workshop Bruce showed a lot of his prints and talked about the art of seeing and creating. My photo, Machu Picchu, Clouds and Birds, was inspired by a print Bruce showed from his first Machu Picchu trip. It has stuck in my mind ever since, and I occasionally go to his website to view it. What captivated me about his photo were the mountains peeking through the clouds and how he used the wall to anchor the scene.
The thought occurred to me that I am stealing Bruce's idea, that the image is his vision, not mine. In a way, it's true. I probably would not have thought of taking this particular photo had I not seen his. But the two photos are different. I chose to shoot the wall straight on, while Bruce's wall is angled slightly. I remember trying to capture the birds flying up in the clouds and around the ruins. Using a handheld camera, I was able to take several shots in the hope of capturing a bird swooping around the ruins. I believe Bruce was shooting with his 4x5 view camera, so it would not have been practical for him to include flying birds. And, of course, clouds are never the same.