Friday, February 12, 2010

"House with Butterfly Roof at Sunrise"

Most snapshots simply document our experience. I suspect, though, that much of the time the snapshooters are secretly hoping to create something beautiful and lasting and even fine art with that casual click of the camera button.

In my heart, this image, made quickly after I pulled open the shutters to check the morning light, transcends the snapshot label.

Grabbing my camera and rushing outside in my pjs to catch the most vibrant rays of sunrise was an instinctive, pure moment, filled with unplanned intensity and creative energy. I wanted to create art with that capture. I wanted to convey the excitement and beauty that sunrise in Palm Springs brings to our mountains, which almost all residents can see from where they live.

I also wanted to include the Palm Springs Modern-style home to convey what we who live here see in most neighborhoods, period pieces that reflect a simpler time long past but somehow preserved here in this unusual desert town.

This home, right across the street from my own, is a "Meiselman." It shows the butterfly roof that was one of several styles that Meiselman and the more famous Alexander family used in their design of homes here around 1960.

Nowadays these homes (many of which originally sold for under $20,000) are revered for their simplicity and desert-friendly designs. In the late nineties these homes became very popular here in Palm Springs, and although they don't have the cache that our famous architectural masterpieces have, they do appeal to most of us in a subtle, almost visceral way.

By framing only this one home, carefully tended to and being warmed by the sun's first rays while its residents were possibly still asleep, I also hoped to reference the promise that each new day brings.

That's a lot to try to convey in one snapped shot. How does it resonate with you?

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