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Ghostlight : Bill and Alice Wright Photography - Keith Carter


By: Keith Carter (Photographer), Bret Anthony Johnston (Contribution by)

Hardcover | 5 September 2023

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Southern wetlands, with their moss-draped trees and dark water obscuring mysteries below, are eerily beautiful places, home to ghost stories and haunting, ethereal light. The newest collection from award-winning photographer Keith Carter, Ghostlight captures the otherwordly spirits of swamps, marshes, bogs, baygalls, bayous, and fens in more than a hundred photographs.

From Ossabaw Island, Georgia, to his home ground of East Texas, Carter seeks "the secretive and mysterious" of this often-overlooked landscape: wisps of fog drifting between tree branches; faceless figures contemplating a bog; owls staring directly at the camera lens; infinite paths leading to unknown parts. Similarly, spectral images are evoked in the original short story that opens this book.

Ghostlight, writes best-selling author Bret Anthony Johnston, "hovers, darts, disappears. It can be as mean as a cottonmouth, as mischievous aes a child. The closer you get, the farther the light recedes." A masterpiece of "Bayou Gothic," Ghostlight challenges our perceptions and invites us to experience the beauty of this elusive world.

About the Contributors

Keith Carter teaches photography at Lamar University, where he is a Regents Professor and holds the Endowed Walles Chair of Visual and Performing Arts. He is the author of twelve previous books, including several with UT Press: From Uncertain to Blue, Ezekiel's Horse, Fireflies and a retrospective, Keith Carter: Fifty Years.

Bret Anthony Johnston is the internationally best-selling author of Remember Me Like This and Corpus Christi: Stories. He is the director of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas.
Industry Reviews
A stunning new book...[Ghostlight] conveys the strange allure of these brackish backwaters and their biological menagerie...Carter's playful approach can be seen in nearly every photograph. Drawing from a deep bag of tricks, he can make photographs that resemble still-life paintings, chiaroscuro portraits, or carefully etched Japanese woodblock prints. His sepia-toned images have a timeless quality emphasized by their vignetting-an old-fashioned darkroom technique that subtly darkens the edges of a print. * Texas Monthly *
Writer Bret Anthony Johnston sets the murky, mysterious tone in Ghostlight with a gothic short story that offers a haunting intonation to Keith Carter's otherworldly wet-plate B&W photographs. Whispering, humid southern wetlands of moss-draped cypress trees and dark waters breathe spectral light, divulging ghostly apparitions and the gators, owls and other wild things secreted within. Carter's caressing imagery is a stunning, atmospheric impression of southern mythology. * What Will You Remember? *
Keith Carter's monochromatic masterpiece Ghostlight uses stark contrasts to convey profound emotional depth. The interplay of light and shadow within its frames serves as a silent poetry, inviting readers to immerse themselves in the quiet narratives embedded in each photograph. * Smithsonian Magazine *

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