I came to photography a little bit late, after being trained in mathematics. I always felt there was a link between the two. The landscape here is full of perfect notions. Abstractions. Volume, plane, line, infinities. Something about the flat and utter openness throws you onto these more than do other landscapes. You make the photographs with rectangles of tone and scatterings of stubble and pebbles and pools and eddies in mud. Things that we can measure while attempting to fix them to something abstract and perfect. In photography, as in mathematics it is said that we begin with a language and a method. As we work to fit these to a world, we might ourselves become fitted to it. A good photograph persuades us to look into it for an insight, something truthful. And it is like a good mathematical proof at least in these ways: it makes a page that is mysteriously beautiful; it prefers economy of expression; it is irrefutable.
For about half a billion years the place where I live was a shallow ocean. By where I am not sure what I mean. This spot was much closer to the equator than to present latitude. But the near continental size slabs of sandstone and limestone that underlay this ocean drifted to here and have here set us up. Here it is Flat. More recently glaciers miles thick moved from the colder north and as they melted deposited their embedded silt and clay upon the stone flat surface and left the rich prairies. Here and there receding glaciers left enormous lakes which grew as ice melted and some of these overwhelmed their embankment and emptied themselves. Sometimes in just a few hours. Imagine. These cataclysmic torrents carved river valleys and sculpted topography. This ended (or paused) about twelve thousand years ago. There would have been people here not long after, as soon as things warmed up a bit. Then in only the most recent moment, Europeans showed up here, including my ancestors, Irish and Scots arrived after being delayed in Virginia and Carolina. We're here for now.
End in Sight