Another Echo

Today I discovered my grandmother will be returning from the Keys earlier than I had expected. When my aunt and uncle pick her up Friday, they will head straight home, so as to be here for Easter. This is going to put a rush on the project, and I intend to work on it for a large part of the day tomorrow.

Although I took several photos today of various scenes, there is only one that worked out perfectly. This is often the way it works – I’ll take several photos, come home and examine them for what worked and what didn’t, and then I’ll go back and come away with several great shots. The one that worked, I am very proud of.

I have had a diptych of two rephotographed images in my mind since the start, and I’ve only been trying to decide which two to use. Today I decided it would be one of my grandparents from 1966 (incidentally the year my mom turned 16), and one of my grandmother’s parents. I did a number of variations, trying to find the right setting and the perfect lighting to avoid distracting reflection from the glass. This last was a major problem, so finally I removed them from their frames. How to present them? I used a small piece of tape to post them side by side on the wall.

The effect is not at all what I was going for when I originally envisioned this photo. (For one thing, it’s not a diptych.) Nonetheless, I find the simplicity of two formal 8x10s tacked side by side on a section of wall really exciting.


This is the image as it stands now, very tentatively titled “Two Couples”. The placement of two photos, with each pair of sitters looking away rather than towards the camera, was an intentional stylistic choice I made for a number of reasons. For one thing, when they were switched they still looked past the camera and the effect was even more jarring. For another, the arrangement as above mirrors the arrangement of the respective burial plots.

Oh yes, and why the tattered copy of her parents’ portrait instead of one that’s been retouched and restored? Because this is the photograph that sits on the piano in the living room.


~ by David Cupp on April 8, 2009.

2 Responses to “Another Echo”

  1. I left a reply but, for some reason, it didn’t go through. I just remarked that at first glance I wondered why you didn’t reverse the placement of the photo’s, with your grandparents on the left. Then I read further and you explained your choice and it made perfect sense. Thank you for doing that. It is very helpful to me since I am not a photographer. I loved both couples very much and I am very thankful to you for good memories recalled. You are a very special person, David.

  2. I just reread my reply above and I meant to say I wondered why you didn’t place your GREAT grandparents on the left. LOL I’m sure you wondered what I had been drinking.

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