What Do You Call a Photograph When It’s Not Made With Light?

Photography: writing with light. A more anglo-saxon suggestion is sun print. There’s more to them than prints on paper.


See that? That snow buckwheat is light written or (im)printed on metamorphic bedrock, or, actually, drawn out of it. You could also view it as a drift of light, much like a snowdrift. That view might be clearer in the image of moss on Turtle Mountain below.


Snowdrifts, of course, form on the lee side of objects. They are physical shadows. In that sense, the image of an ingrown grassland in Ellison Provincial Park shows tree drifts.


Those shadows are virtual trees. They are tree graphs. They are also grass writing, because they are holes in the sun that have drifted in with reflected light from the grass and bushes around them. Like this:


In the above case, the holes have been filled with grass, but following the logic, that grass is a shadow, a hole in the sun, a photograph drawn out of the earth. They are spirit prints. The image below shows an entirely different kind of writing:


Dust graphs! This earth here is swirling, invisibly, in the air, like a solar corona. It’s an earth corona. The dust storms we see, the ones that are thick in the air, are earth flares. Everywhere, this earth is blowing through the sky. It takes little to stop it. You could say, its will is to stop.


Its will is to write, to solidify, to print, and to form, out of the swirl, drifts, not of light, but of earth. Look at the footprint left by a human who walked right through this magic, above on the right. That’s charming and mysterious, too. Down the centre of the image below are what look like coyote tracks, passing through the art work, too.


For the earth, this is not a linear event. It is not a walk, but to humans, and no doubt coyotes, it appears as one. It imprints as one. Humans ‘read’ it as one. That’s who human are. And coyotes. We are the ones who see this unbroken series of writing as linear stories created by our walking through them. Humans call that fate. They call it god. What does the earth call it? Nothing, but it thinks, like this:


And like this:


And like this:


And this:


These are stories of gravity, the heart of the earth, working its way through matter into the light, and then, with the light, creating life. You could call that life a sun print.


You could call it an earth print.


Montana, Looking West

It’s not a footprint. Life is not just contained in biological entities. What are they but a series of earth prints and light prints and water prints and sky prints?


Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump

Thought is not just a product of humans. Or coyotes. (Always include the coyotes.) This is all thought. This is all thinking. The robins below, gathering at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump, getting ready to migrate, are thinking, and they are also the thinking, as is the stone, the orange lichen, the wind, and Harold who made this light print, but didn’t have a camera that could take all these other images.


The earth is that camera. She focusses the sun. You can see her doing it in the three images from Yellowstone below.




And she does it everywhere at once.

2 replies »

  1. I’ve just been led to your site by a friend. This post speaks to me, very loudly. It is wonderful. Thank you. I`ll be keeping an eye on you. 🙂


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