I know we’re all making “walk on the ‘mild’ side” cracks right now, but the Velvet Undergrounder’s been snapping photos since the ‘60s, and is an admitted Leica-geek. These two images have been culled from Reed’s new book of photographs (his third), Romanticism, a series of landscapes shot exclusively in black and white.
Finding just the right sequence for the photos, Reed says, was really no different than sequencing an album, “The response is emotional. That’s all I want; they are taken with emotion and put together with emotion, equal emotion.” And while the quality of Reed’s light looks stunning,
Rarely is there a human mark on the scene; for the most part, his photographs are of nature untouched: woods leading down to the edge of the sea, a layer of thick mist covering the earth. The branches of a tree are abundant with fruit, another tree is dead; the trunk splinters as it disintegrates. “I have never seen a tree that is not graceful,” he says.
Only one photograph, towards the end of the book, shows a human form (see above). It is an androgynous gray figure, with short hair, facing away from the camera and outlined with light. Light ripples across the top of the scene, suggesting water, and the rest is a mass of gray. The figure is Reed’s wife, the musician and artist Laurie Anderson.
In The Independent: Lou Reed: Photographer