Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Monday, November 30, 2020



Last year at about this time, my husband subscribed to the Masterclass series of videos.  I watched a few, but to be honest I was not terribly impressed.  Before the year was out, I thought I ought to watch Annie Lebovitz’s course about her work.  There were some interesting bits, but the thing that got me thinking the most was almost a throw-away line.  She referred to the “images which survive a project.”

Intermittently I’ve pursued photography projects; series or sets of images which pertain to each other for one reason or another.  There are always works which I like better than others in each series, and often there is one which really stands out.  Brooks Jensen talks a lot about projects, and in fact his Lenswork Magazine is mostly about the series.  I get the impression that these groups of work are the endpoint in his mind, but for me there is a next step forward, the standout images.

Lebovitz’s throw-away thought has inspired me to think of my projects differently, and to look back and identify the survivors. 


Colleen Miniuk’s recent Scavenger Hunt (I said a bit about it in the last post) got me thinking about impressionistic and abstract images which draw on intentional camera movement.  I’d been doing these for some time, but here’s my favorite from it so far, a composite of two intentional camera movement images.


Years ago I started shooting abandoned shoes.  My favorite is the first of these, these ballet shoes left at San Diego’s Balboa Park.  There’s the hint of a mystery in these.


When COVID first hit, I jumped onto the bandwagon of tabletop photography, breaking out my LED lights, light tent, and light table.  I especially enjoyed back-lighted flowers, and playing with rusted found objects (the title image)


I love to camp at the edges of things, and from this habit arose the “Trees on the edge” series.  I made these images for years before I realized they were a group. Here's a special sunrise at Grand Canyon's edge.


The skyline sequence evolved without me thinking of it as a series, and presents itself best, I think, in poster style, juxtapositioning dissimilar skylines to invite comparison.


The Antigua Guatemala Series, now that I think of it, is a package deal as well.  The most recent is “Knockers” from 2018.

These groups of images have been a way to develop new directions, try things out and think about things in new ways.  The survivors help me to get through to the other side and move on.

As always, there’s more cool stuff on the website.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Not Entirely Lazy


Patagonia Lake, Arizona

Maybe you’ve been wondering whether I’ve been shooting lately?

Mostly, I’ve been fitting in photography between other stuff I wanted or needed to do.

Storm over the North Rim, Grand Canyon

My husband and I recently celebrated our 20th anniversary.  Each of us thinks the other deserves a medal (as my Mom like to say), which I suppose suggests we’re doing OK.  We splurged and rented one of the Grand Canyon view rooms at the El Tovar Hotel for a couple of nights.  As if that were not enough, there was a lovely storm at sunset on the first evening.  That’s a real gift for a photographer.

Watson Lake, Prescott Arizona

I live about an hour from Trader Joe’s in Prescott (I’m a proud fan girl), so I try to do other things as well as the shopping when I’m there.  In the warm weather I kayak, but it’s gotten to be cool enough to be more like hiking weather.  One November day I was blessed with a couple of moments of inspiration at Watson Lake and Watson Woods. 

Gypsy the wonder dog

Friend and mentor Colleen Miniuk is an idea person.  She put together a photo scavenger hunt (more on such projects in my next blog) which included a category called “alive.”  What a great excuse to do action shots of the pup. 


Patagonia Lake, Arizona

Finally, I’m just back from a (mostly) group camping trip with friends in Southern Arizona.  We started at Patagonia Lake State Park, a first for me.  The place was packed to the gills (not the nature experience) but lovely and I could launch the kayak from the Campsite.

Tumacacori Mountain Sunrise

We had the pleasure of a nice quiet spot in the forest on the way home and got the crowds out of our systems. Gypsy was particularly happy that she was off the leash for the first time in 3 days.

It seems there’s always a reason to bring a camera.