In Search of Simplicity

It’s a funny thing how a style or pattern seems to creep into the subconscious of our art. I’m not certain if these things happen because of life’s circumstances, or in spite of world around us. Regardless of the cause, it appears that my photographs now seem to emphasize the simple over the complex.

Leaf and Rock - Interstate State Park, WI 

These days, I find that I am overwhelmed by the endless inputs that bombard my inner peace. I abhor warehouse-styled stores, walk away from lines and seek the solitude of a quiet nook. Could it be that my art is the antonym for my life? Purposeful or not, I am now drawn to the simple patterns that I see through my lens each day.

 Corkscrew - Pine Point County Park, MN

Photographically, my current work tends to emphasize the emptiness in a space rather than the complexity of a place. Strong compositional elements are supported by rich colors that lack much in the way of detail. While the subject may have been captured in sharp focus, the surroundings fall off into a soft glow. To produce these simple compositions, I will shoot at a wider aperture or position the background at a great distance from the subject. The end result is a shallow depth that draws attention to fewer points within the frame. For landscapes I will work with neutral density filters to force long exposures on windy days or around flowing water. The choice to filter a scene is more than a special effect; it is an attempt to focus on a singularity rather than world that supports it. This photography, its simplicity, is an antidote for a hurried life that leaves little time to cultivate an inner peace. 

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