Geoffrey Ellis Aronson – Tree Archive

2 minute read

I am-I am a 67 year old retiree who has loved photography ever since I got my first brownie at the tender age of 9. My parents travelled every year to exotic places in the world, the Caribbean and Europe and my Dad always brought both his movie camera, a Bell and Howell, and a 35 mm camera and shot 100s of slide and dozens of film.

He was not very good at either and from early on, I believed I could best his efforts. At my university, UCONN, I studied journalism and went on to do two years stint at local newspapers. I discovered I had better aptitude and interest in my photo chores than in my reportage and switched my lifetime career to the silver image.

At the age of 40, tired of working in the field as a commercial artist, I went back to school to get my graduate degree at the Savannah College of Art and Design in photography so that I would teach at the college level, which I did so until the age of 55. I am now retired and living in Yucatan, Mexico, having given up on the snow forever.

Several of these images were created at graduate school from 1990 to 1992. Others were created as my interest in this type of urban and natural landscape appealed to me. Having spend an hour parked in downtown Providence Rhode Island in the mid 80´s and recognizing how eerily alien city streets abandoned by all traffice at night were, I started to photograph the city at night but with working hours still intact. These are scenes well lit during the day with an entirely different ambience, but the mystery of these city areas in the dark held different prospects for me. Not only are they mysterious, but there is a slight tinge of dangerous atmosphere to some of these images.

Many of the photos are from Savannah. Others are from Boston, Bahamas, and Atlanta, places I have visited. I always bring my cameras with me on my vacations and avoid the cliched photograph. I look for something that is slightly out of the ordinary and which would be overlooked by other pedestrians.

As my exposures at night were made on a tripod and with so little light available, I would expose each negative for as many as 16 minutes. Each scene would be photographed three times. As the waiting time was so long I would bring a Walkman with me and listen to progressive rock, Cheryl Crow, Blondie, and Natalie Merichant for the duration. At times I would position the tripod in the middle of silent streets that infrequently were visited by a passing car which I would wave away from my camera. I have photographed as late as 2 a.m. and have been annoyed by drunks and derelicts which I shooed away with threats of pepper spray.

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