This quote by the author J.B. Jackson is never too far away in my thoughts when I am in the landscape. The concept of place, and our connections to place are powerful expressions in how we view our world. The Black Church at Búdir is one place, that for me, expresses a powerful sense of place and identity. Sitting on a windswept point in a harsh landscape, the church emotes a sense of hope, civility, and simple community. It is a building that is perfect in its simplicity, unadorned, vernacular, and free of extraneous decorations, it resonates with life.
Of all of the incredible locations we visited in Iceland in 2017, Vestrahorn in Stokksnes, was the one place that literally brought me to tears. I have never seen such a view where mountains, coastline, black sand dunes, and sky all combined to create such wonder. There were compositions everywhere I looked and at times I just framed and shot, reacting to the light and my own visceral feelings. It was truly magic.
I took quite a few photo walks, which my fellow shooter, Kevin Brookes, and I often referred too as "photo-parkours", while working on a multi year project in St Louis. This is the last shot I made, on my last trip, and my last last parkour through the city. I think its uplifting, (sorry about the bad pun). There was quite the festival happening in this plaza in the city center with music, the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile, and these balloons.
The subtlety of our rural landscape takes some time to understand and appreciate. I know for a fact that it took me quite a while to not only appreciate the light, textures, and forms but to actually find a joy in peeling away the layers. It is not the grand "scape" like many of the western images I shoot, but I like the challenges of finding compositions nuanced by subtle light striking the dense patterns of grasses and leaves.
In 1986, while working on my Master's thesis in architecture, I made a research trip to New Delhi. During the near 24 hours of continuous travel I made a brief stop in Frankfurt where I saw, and held, my first Leica camera. As a poor, and married graduate student, I could not afford it, but knew even then that I wanted one. It is hard to believe that it took me 32 years to get one. And even harder to believe is that it was prompted by my desire to return to the simple challenges of making images - reliance only on the exposure triangle and manual focus.
This is another in my continuing series of personal explorations in the subtle landscapes of my hometown. There are times when I tend to lose my way relative to my photographic work. It is somewhat inevitable as I tend to look at a lot of images, and in doing so, succumb to the flotsam and jetsam of viewing so many photographs. Just how many beautiful sunsets over misty mountains can one take. It is my fault of course because I only have myself to blame. No one is making me look at all these images and all I have to do is stop, put down the phone, and shut down my use of Instagram.