Tuesday, June 20, 2017

JDT Photography: Summer Signals

'It’s summer and time for wandering…'
Kellie Elmore

In North America, we grow up being taught that seasons change due to a specific date on the calendar We structure our year by four seasons which change with four dates which alert our brain that a new season has begun. These dates aren't random, but determined by the natural rotation of the Earth around the sun. This forms the basis for the astronomical calendar, which has the seasons defined by two solstices and two equinoxes.

The solstices mark the times when the sun’s annual path is farthest, north or south, from the Earth’s equator. The equinoxes mark the times when the sun passes directly above the equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, the summer solstice falls on or around June 21, the winter solstice on or around December 22, the vernal equinox on or around March 21, and the autumnal equinox on or around September 22.

There are of course different ways to determine what season it is. Meteorologists don't use dates, but months and for theme, summer are the months of June, July and Augusts meaning the meteorological summer actually began about three weeks ago. For most of us however, seasonal signals are determined by our senses, what we see, what we feel and what we tough. We have all experienced summer feelings in April and May, and in October and November, depending on the temperature. For many summer is about that first and last date that it was warm enough to go to the beach.

Regardless of the calendar, signals of summer are the colors we see, the things we do, and the degree of heat from the summer sun that we feel on our skin. These signs let us know how much clothing to wear and how much skin that it is safe to expose. The heat of sand under our feet, the cackle of dry branches under our shoes as we walk in the woods, the feel of grass and leaves on our back when laying outside.

'When it comes to documenting the seasons, especially a season's beginnings, one of the artists that I have come to rely on is Jesse from JDT Photography.'

The quote above comes from a piece I did earlier this year featuring Jesse's images that I felt beautifully illustrated the signs of spring. Earlier this year Jesse sent on a series of shots which chronicled his work over the past 8 months. The images were like a celebration of the seasons with images celebrating spring, summer and autumn. The men Jesse shot were surrounded by the signs of the season in which they were shot. This was especially evident through the colors, and the intensity and degree of heat from the sunlight which cascaded down and across their skin.

Jesse, JDT Photo, does an extraordinary job of capturing not just those visual signals, but the impact of the other senses as well. In this series of shots you can almost feel the laziness that a hot and humid summer afternoon can bring about. When our mind and our body have time to pause and enjoy the interactions with their surroundings, our senses are awakened. Being naked outside, the feel of the sun on our skin and the cool water on our naked bodies often spike brief bursts of erotic energy into those lazy afternoons.

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