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SunriseSunset: Solargraphs from Plum Creek (Wittliff Collections Photography Series) (Hardcover)
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For the past several years, photographer, screenwriter, and author Bill Wittliff has been placing photographic paper inside beer cans, tubes made of PVC, and other cylindrical containers and affixing them to posts, trees, and other vertical supports on his Plum Creek Ranch near Luling, Texas. Wittliff pokes pinholes in the containers and allows the sun to “paint” on the paper over periods that can last anywhere from a few days to a year. The resulting solargraphs are, as art photographer Kate Breakey suggests, a record of “the slow turning of the earth, without the details: the gradual passing of time at Plum Creek.”
In SunriseSunset: Solargraphs from Plum Creek, this relentlessly inventive writer and artist has gathered some of his favorite creations, offering them as a visual tribute to the interaction of a particular place within the great arc of the cosmos. He shares with readers his delight upon discovering the technique through a chance encounter. He confesses an infectious enthusiasm for harvesting such unpredictable products of light and time as he roams with his canine companion Louie across a locale he describes as “a continuous miracle. . . . I want to see new worlds on a piece of paper . . . I want to be astonished . . . I’m always greedy for another miracle.”
Kate Breakey’s foreword sets an affectionate, thoughtful tone for this stirring artwork, followed by the literary observations of photographer, educator, and artist Keith Carter. But the bulk of SunriseSunset is given over to page after page of mysterious, other-worldly, evocative images etched by “the slow turning of the earth” and the fertile imagination of the author.
About the Author
BILL WITTLIFF (1940–2019) is best known for his television adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove and his screenplays for the movies Legends of the Fall and The Perfect Storm. He also wrote three novels (The Devil’s Backbone, The Devil’s Sinkhole, and The Devil’s Fork) and is the author of three books of photography (Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy, La Vida Brinca, and A Bookof Photographs from Lonesome Dove).