In December 2006, Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes each happened to take a photo in the morning and upload it to Flickr. Noticing the coincidence of the common theme, the two women agreed to an artistic partnership: for the full calendar year of 2007, each woman took a photo every day before 10 a.m. and posted it to a blog called 3191. Because they live respectively in Portland, Maine and Portland, Oregon, they have only met in person twice.
Now 236 of the pictures appear in A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart. The commonplace subjects, arranged in date-paired diptychs, weave a quiet spell of daily life. Jam on bread, braided hair, a cloud-filled sky, each beautifully composed in both senses of the word. Often there's a surprising correlation between the two pictures, either of subject or of layout. They capture the best aspects of morning: peace, renewal, the pleasure of small quiet things. They are little marvels of thoughtful observation.
Five stars for a book that expresses keen artistic vision and a true 21st century partnership. Vettese and Barnes are now collaborating on daily evening photos, which can be seen on their blog 3191 A Year of Evenings. Visit and enjoy.
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Linda Bulger (Linda_in_Maine)
When I love a book, I want to wave it in somebody's face and say "Look! Read this!" The internet was made for people like me, don't you think? The lunch.com crowd seems friendly enough... … more
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3191, A Year of Mornings began on January 1, 2007 as an almost daily photo conversation, in blog form, between two friends that live 3191 miles apart. It lasted the entire calendar year ending on December 31, 2007 and was followed by 3191, A Year of Eveningswhich ended on January 15, 2009.