Both Sides Now

  • Through the sunroof. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

Saturday, March 03, 2018

This is a scene that played through my sunroof. The veil of ice was just starting to give way to the persistence of the sun — right before the clouds took over again. I’m not exactly sure why, but it reminds me of the “Equivalents” series of cloud photographs by Alfred Stieglitz. At the time they were taken, in the 1920s, they were considered abstract, but they are simply straight photographs of the sky — though lacking any reference, or grounding, point. As my history of photography professor told it, Stieglitz never explained precisely what he meant by the title; it is really up to us to infer any sense that can be made of it. I thought that was kind of oblique, but also freeing. It is in our nature to try to make sense of things, to put a label on them and drop them into the “done” box. Indeed, I have my own suspicions about what he meant. But after all, they’re only clouds.

— Kevin Gutting/Gazette staff