12 September 2014

Fresh Pond Photography

So my girlfriend Rachel and I often take walks/jogs around Fresh Pond, which is a small pond/reservation (much of it is fenced off, including the pond itself) by the Belmont/Cambridge border with a paved road going around it. This place generally has a ton of people walking their dogs, and there's a little mini-pond which is not fenced off where they let their dogs go swimming. It's a pretty cool place with some very scenic spots.

Often, while going around the pond, we'd notice an older guy walking his dog and taking photos. One day when we were walking Rachel's dog, the two dogs got in a classic leash-tangle and we talked a little with this guy, Richard Gardner. He gave us a pamphlet with a bunch of links to his photography and related stuff.

Richard Gardner's Flickr account has over 500,000 photos. His YouTube channel has several thousand videos. Some of this stuff is really, really, really good. Some of it has animals we've never seen at Fresh Pond, and we've been there a lot. There's also a compilation of his favorite photos.

I saw him at the pond again today and chatted with him a bit. He's gone to Fresh Pond every single day for the past decade or so, missing only four days in that decade. He spends three to six hours there on a typical day. From the perspective of doing photography as art, the idea of doing it in a single place with that kind of dedication is really interesting to me. It reminds me of an article about street food in Southeast Asia. The idea of this article is that there are these street vendors in big cities in Asia who make the same dish over and over again for decades, and the result is that they become masters at making that dish, and if you go and have street food from these vendors, the quality of that food is going to be better than the food you'll find at fancy restaurants, because those restaurants don't have cooks specializing in a single dish for years and years; they have multiple dishes, the cooks come and go, the menus change, and so on. It's really cool that this guy can take hundreds of thousands of photos of the same half-mile-in-diameter pond, and continue to find interesting things to photograph and create compelling photography.

Also for any computer nerds reading, apparently he used to work at MIT way back in the day on a modular operating system called Multics.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/9/14 20:16

    Super cool! Interesting the kind of people you could randomly meet. His photos are great, very vivid..