In Between and the Resolve

These photographs were taken from September 2018 to February 2019 with a Nikon D90 using a NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8 lens.

The content in this series of photographs grew/evolved from some of the natural artifacts that also occur in Laced with Her Sound, most notably, the leaf skeletons. I am a collector and the subject matter is essentially a collection of natural objects from the many forests/natural environments I visit. This series illustrates an artistic and emotive transition—work inspired by a new friendship.

I soaked freshly plucked leaves from poplar and aspen trees in order to rot away the body of the leaf. This lengthy and smelly process took months before the fleshy pieces of the leaf decomposed and detached from the skeletal structure. I removed all the flesh from a few leaves, but made a decision to keep a few scarred remnants of flesh on others, as each leaf developed personal characteristics to me, and each had a story to tell that seemed worth preserving. I identified with their scars and birthmarks, and as per usual, the leaves developed human characteristics becoming valuable metaphors for compositions.

I photographed this series in my home and relied on natural light since I do not use alternative light sources. Using natural light holds me hostage to the weather, just as if I were photographing outside, but in this series, I did not have to fight, as I normally do,  other elements such as rain, wind and splashing water. The first half of the photos I took in this series hold plenty of information and detail, just as the photos did of my earlier series, Laced with Her Sound; yet these pictures are somehow tighter, and the images as a whole are crisper and more grounded, conveying stability.

The last half and most recent photographs were placed in even more controlled lighting with no background commotion. I built a miniature light box with translucent paper and string, still using sunlight as the light source. I focused on the characteristics and personalities of each leaf and how they interact with one another. And more importantly, this simplicity enabled me to emphasize the subtle tensions and harmonies existing between the aspen leaves/people.  While photographing them, I could feel the sentiments that exist in my relationships transform the compositions. This whole process of exploration helped me make sense of the connections I make with people.