Self-Portrait #2

Before I discuss the attached image, I wanted to point out that the main reason for creating "Critical Distance" was to have a forum for discussion. Of course it would help if I had actually enabled the discussion plugin on my site. I hope I have it now corrected and it shows up in this post. Customer service at my web hosting site has assured me that it is ready to go but I won't believe it until I see it posted. If you have a comment to add (or image to share), please post it and I am told it should go out to everyone subscribed to my blog. I look forward to continuing the conversation.

© 2016 Mark Maio Self-Portrait, Silo City, Buffalo, NY

© 2016 Mark Maio Self-Portrait, Silo City, Buffalo, NY

As I was going through images last week from my September 2016 Silo City workshop, I came across another self-portrait. Given I have led off my blog with two self-portrait posts, it would seem like I make these type of images all the time. The reality is these are the only two I think I have ever made and I was surprised to find this second example.

During my Silo City workshop, I typically do not photograph nor do I vertically explore the over half a million square feet of abandoned space in the grain elevators. I feel my job is to be centrally located on the ground and be available to the attendees so I can help them make good photographs.

This past September the weather for the workshop wasn't ideal. We had some rain, clouds and high winds most of the time we were photographing. Finally, early on the last morning, a high-pressure front came in off Lake Erie and the clouds moved out. I was walking back from the Buffalo River when the sun came up behind me very low on the horizon. For those who have been to Silo City, especially their first time, it is impossible not to be constantly looking up as you walk through the canyons of grain elevators stretching towards the sky. Instead, since I spend a few weeks a year there, when I do have a camera in my hand I tend to follow the light, letting it lead me to images not typically seen. I noticed my long shadow being cast along the ground over a puddle of water left from the rain the night before. I also noticed the white facade of one of the grain elevators reflected in the water. Given my over twenty-five years of photographing in and around that area of Buffalo's grain industry, I felt it was a perfect representation (and reflection) of my photographic life spent there.