Hearing the Song

Although most of the photographs I show here are family-oriented, I have always had a deep connection with landscapes. I grew up in one of the most naturally beautiful places in the world, a place people come to visit from all over the world just to see the hills and trees and rocky shoreline. The few times a year I get the chance to go back home, I always end up taking a bunch of landscape shots. And, indeed, the most landscape-heavy work I've shown is centered there, in my home town.

But although I do take a lot of photos around San Diego, none of them are what I'd really consider straight landscapes. There's some street work, a lot of urban/suburban architectural stuff, a smattering of still life, but nothing really of the land as land. I remember once when Juliette and I were talking about our life in Southern California, I talked about how, as much as I like having friends and having a job, I don't really feel connected to the place. "Back home," I said, "the land sings. I can feel it in my bones. There's no song here, no soul to the land."

Now, I do think it's true that things here are different, and a lot of it has to do with living in a city—something I'm never really going to be cut out for. But, more and more, I'm realizing that every place has some kind of spirit, and if I'm not feeling it, it's got more to do with me than with the place.

I recently signed up to participate in Stuart Pilkington's 100 Mile Radius project, the prompt for which is simply to "document the land using [my] unique voice." I think it's time I learned how to listen to this place, and hopefully this project will be just the kick in the pants that I need.