I feel strongly that a photograph, any photograph has the ability to convey more than what initially may be apparent. Many who “take” pictures do so to document a place, activity, or for posterity. There is nothing wrong with this and doing so for these reasons can have very sentimental meanings. I chose to interpret a photograph for abilities that reach beyond the visually apparent. An ability to spark thought that may have no initial connection to the image being viewed. Many images that are created of this nature may not make this connection for a vast number of viewers. This does not mean the photograph has no purpose. The purpose needs be for one individual only to successfully achieve purpose, possibly dramatic purpose. The one who chooses to make a photograph is not only the creator, but many times the one and only viewer able to feel what must be considered an emotional connection. This is the reason the photograph was created and the reason it serves a purpose. For the type of work I do it is the only reason a photograph is created. Not to appeal to a greatest number of viewers, elicit the most likes, or generate the most comments. Its purpose is to connect with that which I hold personally close and important in life.
I am enamored by the grasslands of the world. The simple strength of what they represent and their importance to life on this planet is for the most part extremely undervalued. I spend many hours immersing myself in one of the great grasslands of the world, the tallgrass prairie, which has dwindled so dramatically in the last century that now less than 4% of the original tallgrass prairie remains on this planet. Grasslands are the least protected and most converted habitat in the world. I feel privileged to be able to spend time in these areas and even more privileged to be able to create photographs of the life that for the last 10,000 years has made our lives possible.
Photographs of these places I choose to create are not photographs to document their present existence, to affirm my present activities, or to prove of their progenitors. They are visual representations of all these things and more. They are the thoughts, the sounds, and the smells of life. One in which I do not have complete control, but one in which I have adequate control of direction. To direct my life in such a way that connects to a purpose that is greater than any one photograph or any one creator.
We as humans have but one reason to assimilate into a mass consciousness. To provide our individual strengths, thoughts, and ideals into a power that is stronger than any one individual. This can only happen by first being individual.
Beautifully expressed, Brad.
“On the road from fish, bird, and ape to the war-waging animal of our time, on the long road by which we hope in time to become men and gods, it could not have been the ‘normal’ ones that had pressed forward from stage to stage. The normal ones were conservative, they clung to what was healthy and traditional. A normal lizard never hit upon the idea of trying to fly. A normal ape never thought of abandoning his tree and walking upright on the ground. The one who first did that, who first tried it, who had first dreamed about it, was a visionary and eccentric among apes, a poet, an innovator, and no normal ape. The normal ones, as I saw it, were there to maintain and defend an established way of life, to strengthen a race and species so that there might be support and vital provision for it. The visionaries were there in order to venture their leaps, to dream of the undreamed-of, so that perhaps sometime a land animal might emerge from the fish and an ape man from the ape.” ~Hermann Hesse
Thanks Guy. The Hermann Hesse quote is terrific.