“The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.” – Paul Strand
Because of the pandemic, I had to cancel photography trips out of state. Instead, I visited and photographed the local landscape near my home. The open and natural outdoor environment is a place where I feel comfortable since I grew up in the farmlands of northern Ohio. There is a certain sacredness to the environment. Not an inherent quality worthy of praise in itself, but rather an inference to transcendence. Strand refers to the significance a photographer places on what he sees and photographs when he writes:
“Look at the things around you, the immediate world around you. If you are alive, it will mean something to you, and if you care enough about photography, and if you know how to use it, you will want to photograph that meaningness.”
The meaning I see in these landscapes is complicated by the intrusion of man’s impact. Is it really an intrusion? Sometimes. Is it necessary? Maybe. Are we good stewards? Hopefully. Eventually, my vision of the world around me takes me to the one question, the ultimate question — Why is there something rather than nothing?