” It’s coming on Christmas. They’re cutting down trees. They’re putting up reindeer. And singing songs of joy and peace. Oh I wish I had a river. I could skate away on. But it don’t snow here. It stays pretty green. I’m going to make a lot of money. Then I’m going to quit this crazy scene. I wish I had a river. I could skate away on. I wish I had a river so long. I would teach my feet to fly. Oh I wish I had a river. I could skate away on. ” — “River,” Joni Mitchell, 1970, from the album “Blue.”
Just like my photograph, Joni Mitchell really never intended for “River” to be a Christmas song. It was set near Christmas. But, it wasn’t about Christmas. Yet, it did become a Christmas song. It has been covered 432 times for all manner of Christmas albums. It has become a modern jazz standard.
So too, my picture isn’t really a Christmas picture. It feels like one. It is really an homage to Edward Hopper’s 1942 painting “Nighthawks at the Diner.” To be sure, it hasn’t been looked at 432 times. Maybe a few times, but not like that. Certainly, nobody has asked to make a painting of it.
And, Christmas? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the colors. A lot of red and green. Maybe it’s something else. Something deeper. The only thing that I’m sure of is that art should make you feel, rather than just record. I can only speak for myself, but this one makes me feel.
The picture. More or less, the same old thing. F8 and be there. The only post production I did was to tone it down some. Originally it was very bright. Very energetic. That didn’t suit its mood.