Terri Bright is no stranger to photographing an object without the presence of it physically. Whether Bright is photographing in black and white or color, her photographs are a loud whisper, showing her minimalistic impact with her work. It is part of the search to find the origin of what is occurring in front of the audience that is enticing to perceive. Sonnets shows this idea along with questioning the backstory of every image in a positive manner. Although the book was published in 2016, Bright takes the reigns and shows that even in a populous city, life can always be set back into a vintage ghost town.
The images appear serendipitous as you stroll through the book. The perfect strokes of color along with the monochromatic scheme that graces the photographs are silent, but speak loudly with words of romance. The absence of people in the book adds mystique to how the items being pictured ended up in their fate. A watermelon smashed to bits, confetti on a floor with a straight line perfectly separating white and red sections, a pink spray-painted tire with a patch of dry grass inside the hole spilling over the rubber; all things indicating a life once existing before the snap of the shutter. An unspoken ballad of what may view as the usual and familiar now has a voice through Bright’s photographs.
The mood of the Sonnets is set with a quote from Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse at the start. The beginning of the quote takes from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 98 that reads “From you have I been absent in the spring,/…Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,/Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;/They were but sweet, but figures of delight…”. The translation of the sonnet along with Sonnets has parallels to the idea of beauty in the nonexistence. These gorgeous, everyday settings that were mostly man-made are looked over as people walk by. Once held high in someone’s mind has been tossed to the side for a timeline that shows days to possibly years. Now, they will forever be exalted instead of being neglected.
Bright’s minimalistic quality of shooting shines through every photograph in Sonnets. The exploration throughout the images as they bounce from varying color palettes and different sizes keeps the viewer engrossed. After closing the book, the silent poetry reverberates through the crimson covers. Bright’s use of her camera as her pen has published an alluring piece of photographic literature to continue to entice fans of non-traditional landscape photography for years to come.
Written by Madison Rich
Images by Madison Rich
If you are interested in purchasing Sonnets, you can purchase it on the Fraction website.