I had this idea after a shot I took while traveling in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan last winter where I wanted to put together a series of photo’s that exploited the negative space. The scene on Lake Gogebic that particular day was absolutely numb and striking at the same time. The sun was setting behind a blanket of snow clouds and pure flat light conditions… Not exactly a photographers dream scenario. Then again, I’m not exactly a photographer. I saw an interesting thing that struck my attention and I shot the first photo in what would be come “The Desolation Series”. It was simply a view across the lake of the barely exposed shoreline on the other side. Maybe six miles across you just make out the tree line and it created a mix of three different hues of blue: One of the frozen snow covered lake, a thin strip of wooded shoreline, and the flat, fading sky that was only a mix of what was left of the sun, thick clouds, and snow molecules. It really wasn’t a very good shot from a technical photography standpoint but it had an impact and the kind of power I look for in any piece of art that strikes my eye.
There’s something about the use of obvious negative space and the way it makes the viewer wonder what else is there. The same spirit that makes us eager to explore. It’s desolate. It’s curiosity mixed with a light fear that pushes us to want more. Whether that be in the feeling of emptiness that the photographs provoke, or fear of what may, or may not lie beyond the unclear backgrounds. What’s out there? Who lives here? I think for me personally the photo’s are a complete contradiction to my typical day-to-day life in the city… And I like that. My escape to solidarity.
the act of desolating or the state of being desolated; ruin or devastation
solitary misery; wretchedness
a desolate region; barren waste