Redefining Nature Photography
(poetry of nature and human nature)
I climbed a mountain in Vermont, made a photograph at the top, but it was empty. Sure, it held beauty and awe but the image didn’t capture what it felt like to be me, on top of that mountain, at that time in my life. I had realized that I am more interested in ideas and feelings rather than crisp and flawless exposures.
The artist Duane Michals once said, “We’re not our eyeballs, we’re our mind.” He continues by explaining how art should deal with all of the human condition, and most photographs are only meant to please. I want my brain to be stimulated in a gallery, not just my eyes. I don’t want to be comforted, I want to be confronted. I want to feel it all: pain, humor, bewilderment. I want old memories dug up.
Such thoughts have been guiding my urge to explore human nature through the manipulation of nature. In this work, I am returning to straight photography, however by altering the scene I am creating some sort of open-ended tension and confusion left for the viewer to deal with themselves. Similar to abstract painting, I look at each photograph as a visual poem that is to be deciphered and experienced on a personal level. I am redefining “Nature Photography”.