Australian photographer Yervant used the word inspirey during a WPPI class I attended. MY use of inspirey is clear to me, but curiosity sent me to the internet for a definition.
- Inspiry-Urban Dictionary: The dreamy act of inspiration for those around you. (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=inspiry)
- Inspirey-Kim dictionary:verb. A call to creative action. (I like the ‘e’ added version of the spelling. Inspirey.
Something inspirey makes me want to not only think about the artists creative process, but I’m inspired to take action and eventually will create the Kim version. Inspirey simmers until I shoot the inspirey. Maybe inspirey will hit and shift my editing eye in a new direction?
For example, how did Edward Steichen cause his image to come alive in the darkroom? How long did the idea simmer? Considering how difficul night photography was in the early 1900’s, I doubt that happenstance brought his planets in alignment for this fantastically eerie, timeless image Flatiron Building-Evening, 1906 (1905?).
A quick search of the web for Edward Steichen’s “The Flatiron” reveals various color versions of this digitally converted image. The screen capture below has similiar tones as the original I saw at a photography gallery in St. Louis, MO at the IPHF Museum (International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum). Viewing a vintage photograph in person is more thrilling than you might think. Every print is one of a kind, printed by a master printer who might be the photographer, or maybe it was printed by a skilled printer trained to specific darkroom standards by the photographer. A true peice of art.
Although I enjoy every aspect of this photograph, it’s the tri-tones that inspire me. A warm brown base of blacks and mid-tones. Light areas toned green. Specular Highlights in yellow.
Now for the Kim version. After leaving the IPHF Museum, I saw these stairs on the side of The Fabulous Fox building. Inspirey happened in the viewfinder this time. Editing brought it all together.
Vivian Maier is a famous street photographer. I love that she photographed women with their shopping bags. No upper body. Just bags, torso, and legs. Those photographs depict a time for women that’s long gone. I’m reminded of the discomfort of wearing dresses with a half slip (that always slipped) and sagging ankle socks. As I child I thought that women judged each other so fiercely that they wouldn’t dare shop without being dressed for the occasion. Any occasion. We got dressed up to go to the doctor, go to church, any school event; my neighbor’s mom even ironed her children’s pajamas. She said was in case they had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night.
Vivian Maier’s photography brings to mind the days of Saturday shopping downtown, which included the weekly beauty shop visit. The smell of a perm while I waited for my mom to finish her turn in the “beauty seat”, is fresh in my mind.
I was witness to the changes in how mid-century women carried themselves. As a teenager in the 70’s, some of our wardrobes consisted of boys Levi’s and a t-shirt’s with no bra under. (Levi’s were only made for boys and men. My mom was so sweet to sew a V shape seam in the back so they would form to our waistline).
We saw our mothers fussing in the mirror, going to the beauty shop regularly. NOT US! We wanted to be free as a bird, as Lynyrd Skynyrd so fantastically exclaimed.
Memories stirred by photographs; I’m amazed that photographs have such power.