Stacks Image 318

photographing the west

This work has been generated during multiple years of driving and camping in the west. It isn't narrative, or documentary, but rather abstractions informed by the light, the space, and how objects occupy this space. Like all the best ideas, this one asserted itself quite by chance: the landscape is quite alien to someone unfamiliar, and provides a fresh way of seeing.

It is this element of 3D space that differentiates this work from my usual studio practice. However, as in my studio work, these images function as abstractions; any meaning is derived from within the frame of the image. The camera is intrinsically a tool of abstraction and the framing of the work re-contextualizes the elements.

That said, the portfolios presented are, of necessity a grouping of images, and that grouping creates an alternate context which can create new interpretations, and meaning may be derived where none existed before.

Photography, and landscape photography brings it’s expectations. In many ways these images don’t meet those expectations - they are, to some degree, anonymous. This work involves simple static compositions, color, and sharp focus. There is nothing overtly jarring, nor is there any distinct camera signature. The image titles are the digital file numbers, and the digital medium gives them a seamless plastic surface gloss.

In this way they can be seen to play off the impersonal inoffensiveness of postcards. However, the subject does not conform to the genre, and there is a tension here. The other common thread of this body of work is the push and pull of nature as mediated by man. This can assert itself in jarring juxtapositions, or unintended convergence.

I arranged the online portfolios based on criteria like color, composition, similarity, and contrast. You might want to arrange them differently. Feel free to download them and play with them as you’d like.

I'd like to thank Melissa Finelli - the best navigator in the world. We've ended up crawling up cliff side dirt roads at 5mph, going through places that aren't on the maps, and finding campsites at the end of the day that make you feel like the luckiest person alive.

western portfolios

west 1

west 2