First Place: C E Morse- Pit 79
N.Y. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards- 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' First Place: C E Morse- Pit 79
PIT 79 by C.E.Morse

Review by curator Steven Benson:
"This extraordinary photograph, PIT 79, by C.E Morse is a complex image designed to be interpreted in myriad ways.  The quality of the light helps to define the shapes creating a strong sense of presence.  At first glance the scale of the subject is illusive. An aerial view of a gravel pit seems to convey an organic quality – like looking at cells through a microscope. The upper area of the subject is also reminiscent of fossilized coral (Petosky Stones on the Lake Michigan shoreline) and the lower area takes on the character of a Trilobite related invertebrate. It’s not until the viewer recognizes the tracks from the bulldozers that we realize the scale of the subject.
The photograph is the result of a collaborative process with anonymous participants who are unaware they are part of an artmaking effort.  The bulldozer operators at the gravel pit do not consider reshaping the face of the Earth as a creative endeavor.  The photographer incorporates the actions of others into their image making.  We generally don’t think of fill dirt as beautiful.  C.E. Morse transforms it into compelling images that holds our attention.  Margaret Bourke-White talked about industrial related locations as not designed to be beautiful but has evolved an inherent beauty waiting to be discovered. 
Benson asks C.E. Morse, "What do you photograph when you don’t use of a drone?"

C.E. Morse says, "Anything that attracts me due to color, form & texture, especially man-made objects that have been patinized by time, weather & misfortune.  These subjects show the layers of time chronicling the events that present them in the condition In which I find them. I look for areas that affect me like the most transcendent abstract art. I particularly like shooting in vintage auto boneyards which are, unfortunately, fast disappearing, especially in the northeast."

Benson says, "Did you photograph in gravel pits before you started using a drone?"

"C.E. Morse says, "Not that I remember, but I have always considered a variety of subjects to shoot from above.  At one point, I had thought about purchasing a truck with a bucket lift before drones were available, However, I waited until the Mavic III came out to take advantage of the Hasselblad optics. Gravel pits, estuaries and other landscapes were always the back of my mind when the time was right and I had the ability to take advantage of an aerial viewpoint."
Benson says, "What are you trying to convey to the viewer?"

C.E. Morse says, "Broadly, that there are different points of view and interpretations of many objects that are commonplace, ugly, or just ignored.  
My primary intention is to let the images unlock the viewer’s imagination to conjure up a personal interpretation, whether it is a memory, a fantasy or even just an emotion.
This is best achieved when the viewer does not initially recognize the subject, however, the surprise when the studied image’s identity is unveiled to be that of a dumpster or the like is enjoyable in its irony.  Frequently there is an interesting backstory about the subject and my efforts to discover it and get the shot."
Benson says, "Are there other subjects you are planning to explore from above?"
C.E. Morse says, "You bet! ……… industrial sites, geological formations, water (in many forms), natural habitats, shorelines, urban landscapes ……. In this case, the sky is not the limit."
C. E. Morse says, "I spend a lot of time in vintage auto salvage yards and boatyards where I discover incredible visual elements that inspire me the same way as do the great abstract painters. I hunt for this wild art, looking for patterns, color, texture & composition in subjects both man-made and natural; embellished by chance and patinated by nature, with an unspoken history of random events that can only be guessed or imagined. There is no reference to the identity or the scale of what I photograph; the abstract imagery coaxes a personal interpretation contingent upon the viewer’s imagination

My gravel pit series, shot with my drone, also emphasizes color, texture & composition; I capture the unintentionally artistic abstract patterns made by the men who are constantly moving, sorting and piling various gravels.  They create designs in the earth; the beauty of which, I assume, they are quite oblivious, as their unwitting artistry can only be appreciated from above.

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau

C E Morse was born in Camden, Maine.
He graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Photography after studying with Paul Krot and Aaron Siskind.  He further studied @ the Maine Photographic Workshops (now Maine Media Workshops) and the Maine College of Art.

C E now lives in Cumberland Center, Maine and travels widely photographing abstract details of found objects.  

His images have been published in various magazines (from PDN to Downeast), and he exhibits internationally..

Awards include: the International Color Awards, Masters Cup, Moscow International Foto Awards, Fine Art Photography Awards, 
Prix de la Photographie Paris, Black & White Spider awards, Texas Photographic Society, PRC - Boston, Photographer’s Forum, 
Photo Review, Top 100 Auto Photo Awards International Contemporary Art Awards, Neutral Density Awards, MOJAS Awards,
Tokyo International Foto Awards. 

Pit #79 - 16"H x 12"W
Archival paper
$376 unframed
Limited edition: 12 of this size; 25 total)
Signed on back

Contact: C E Morse