Land(and technique) of the Lost
Posted on July 27, 2012
Yes, I’ve posted these images before. I’m posting them again because I had, for the most part, forgotten about them. I made these images back in 2006 but in some ways it feels like I made them a hundred years ago. It’s not that I don’t like them, in fact I think they are some of the most interesting landscape style images I’ve made, but the simple truth is I’m perpetually moving fast. I started this project on the North Shore back in 1998. I’d made many trips to the area and spent most of my time covering the surf culture. After a few years of returning to the same place I began to see strange patterns. I began to notice the number of people who would descend on the area, mostly tourists, and would USE the area as a type of decompression from their lives, and stresses, back home. These people all used the same exact area.
The term “salt line” describes the exact point where you smell the ocean before you see it. The “salt line” is very real and historically has had a powerful impact on the cultures that reside just past this invisible line. Suddenly I was intrigued by the Hawaiian salt line. I knew I wanted to try and capture this place, and it’s effects on people, but I also knew I needed a new technique. My goal was to create a charcoal sketch, a photographic charcoal sketch, one that showed motion and emotion. The problem was I didn’t know how to do this. So, I began to experiment and came up with the technique you see here.
I posted these images again because I really like this technique. When I finally figured out how to do this I thought, “Oh, this is going to be a big part of my future,” and yet all these years later I can remember ONE time where I deployed this style. I find this really strange. So much gets lost because of how fast I’m moving through the world. I would have never thought that this technique, or these images, would get lost in the shuffle of life but they really have. Now I sit here, once again, thinking “Okay, this is how I’m going to use medium format on my New Mexico project” and yet my bags are packed for a return trip and this camera isn’t with me. I’m not sure what the answer is here, or even the question, but perhaps it pertains to choices, or having to many. Perhaps it’s about critical thought and solitude of mind?