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Finding Meaning

Photography is an artist's medium, straight and simple. Artist's choose their means to express the meaning that they find in the world, or in their head or both. Taking photographs has at its center an exploratory nature. Photographers cameras in hand go out into the world and "find" meaning. The image below was taken in Nebraska a few years back and represents a process that I employ when traveling. That is documenting what I find in the landscape.

In this case, an unusual building just off the road. I was struck by the visual effect of the manmade box nestled gracefully in the natural world surrounding it. Actually the natural world was man made. Consisting of rectangular fields for growing cropped surrounded by fencing. No signage was present to explain the building's purpose. No people we near by I could ask. I speculated that it was a rural electric or telephone company building. I had seen similar structures like this before with their flat roof and limited windows. It did not appear to be in use, but it was not abandoned either. Nothing in the landscape (it was located at the corner of two long paved country roads) explained its use. I exposed my photograph because it seemed as if it had been there a while and suggested history. Taking the photograph is the beginning of the process of making meaning. Now that our cameras record the GPS coordinates of our subject it become much easier to return to the location with Google Maps and fill in further information. Without further information the image remains a strong visual statement that makes the looking at it worthy of or time and attention.Sometimes factual details are never found, but the image itself serves as a point of departure for the viewer to speculate or imagine the back story.

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