My goal is to create a pictorial documentary of the ongoing struggle between Man and Nature for the control of land and resources. This struggle, not at a speed that attracts CNN coverage, is never ending and deserves to be preserved. Man erects a building and uses it for 10, 20, 50 years; but, in time, Man builds a newer, better, stronger structure. The first building is forgotten and eventually abandoned. As soon as Man stops fighting Nature for the building, Nature begins reclaiming what was originally hers. This inexorable transformative process is fascinating because of the constant flux this battle portrays in every reclaimed structure. Each building is an individual battle within a war that most people fail to see. When I see a derelict building, I see a war that hardly anyone else can see in the same way. I want to preserve these images of this war between Man and Nature that, though slow, remains in constant flux. These "war images," and the feelings they create, should be preserved.
I choose to use Analog photography for all my personal work for two reasons. First, because of the care needed to shoot in the format I prefer, I must thoroughly evaluate the scene as I'm setting up a shot. And second, because there are relatively few shots on every roll, I value each one and take care not to waste a single shot. Over the past year and a half I’ve gravitated toward medium-format photography both because of the larger negative, which provides better quality images, and because it takes more time to work with a medium format camera, forcing me to consider each shot even more carefully. The battles I photograph will not exist forever, and I have only this one chance to preserve them. For nearly two-and-a-half years I have focused on derelict buildings and other battlefields that demonstrate this ongoing Man vs. Nature war, but I would like to document more of the Midwest than just my local area. My plan is for a four-day photographic expedition, spending the first two days traveling southwest and using no interstates, and then returning along a different route the second two days. I have identified potential "battlefield" locations for this trip but will maintain flexibility to stop along the way whenever I find a subject of interest and photograph it. Once I complete the expedition, I will process the film and make archival prints.
Despite my passion for this project, my college-student budget makes it impossible for me to pursue it. In addition to the obvious costs of film, photo paper (very expensive), and high-quality toner (not cheap either), I need to pay for gas for the car trip, a place to stay each night of the expedition, and other supplies. Food costs, though not huge, would also be good to include.
My goal is to experience things that most people have forgotten about or never seen: old buildings, derelict farm equipment, and open views of nature.
Having moved around a lot while growing up, I have a strong appreciation for memories. I have found that, for many people, including myself, each memory is paired with the place we were at when creating that memory. As these memories disappear we may be losing the only way we could ever see those places again. By creating a photo documentary, I will preserve these memories -- and battlefields -- forever.
- (30 days)