I returned last week from my second trip to Northern California to photograph the effects of the Camp Fire in Paradise.
As I start to make prints from the shoot I realize I was seeking to connect with the place in a slightly different manner than before. Partly documentation and partly an artist's response, the work reads more personal and selective.
An example is these, called Paradise Valley Trees:
This career artist doesn't always know why he's doing things. That sounds bizarre I know, but it is true. I discover things from the pictures I make. Yes, I made some conscious decisions here: convert the camera to 1:1, make the files in post into black and whites. So, I was working towards higher specificity in these pictures.
But there needs to be chance, discovery, unpredictability, accident, surprise, intuition in our work. It isn't all intellect and control.
These trees, serving as symbols for so much more, standing guard, doomed to be cut down and heading for the chipper, scarred and charred, killed by wind and fire on November 8, 2018.
Prints are 12 x 12 inches. I suggest seeing them in person: Neal's email