I had one of those days where nothing turned out how it was supposed to be. I won’t bore you with the details, but it made me think of photographer John McDermott‘s photographs of Cambodia — his use of infrared film and the way he develops his pictures make you see these places as if they are in an altered state of reality.
When McDermott saw the surreal play of light over temples and ruins during a total eclipse of the sun in Angkor, the spectacle inspired a long-term photography project that resulted in the recent publishing of Elegy: Reflections on Angkor, a book that led the New York Times to call McDermott “the Ansel Adams of Angkor.” (You can order the book on John’s Web site, linked above.)
McDermott spent time in DC while his wife was finishing her dissertation. He credits Rockville’s Metropolitan Center for the Visual Arts and Photoworks in Glen Echo Park as his “lifeline” while he was here working on his photo development techniques in 2003 and 2004.
So, while my day didn’t go as planned, these pictures can teach us all to see things in ways we had never dreamed of. Elegy, indeed.