First and always, there is the land. What riches are upon it, flowing through it and hidden beneath the land is what first brings people to a place, whether to settle and build or to exploit and then leave.
Across the Upper Great Lakes there exist shadows left by once robust communities of disparate people whose efforts enabled others to build great cities to the south. Trappers, lumbermen, miners, farmers, railroad workers and all their families braved the indifference of an inhospitable wilderness in order to work, so that they might earn for themselves some portion of liberty and perhaps make for their children a better life. In time the land shrugged off most of these, leaving behind only shadows in a resurgent wilderness.
I’ve lived long enough to have become an anachronism -- a large format field photographer shooting film and then crafting my own fine art archival prints from it. The film stocks I use are fast being discontinued. My time, much like that of the cultural remnants I search out, has grown short. It’s altogether appropriate that I do what I do how I do it and I’ll continue for as long as I’m able.
Photography is an effort to capture and hold a moment in time, to present some insight that otherwise would be lost to the river of memory. Each viewer brings to the image their own experience, enriching that insight beyond the capability of any photographer. Through the window of an image, we might even glimpse a shadow left by our own collective past.
What we make of that insight is up to each of us.