The Sheep Pasture Gardens are community vegetable gardens which are tended by residents of North Easton, Massachusetts. I began to make photographs there as a refuge from my busy and noisy life. I could focus on the beauty of the landscape, reflect on changes of the season and admire the elegant structure of plants. Yet over time the garden landscape became less fanciful. During my visits I noticed that food was left unharvested to rot. The gardens appear to be therapeutic hobbies — not essential to the people who cultivate them — and were often forgotten. This prompted me to question how gardens are used by people who truly need them. My research led me to learn about poverty farming within the Andean communities of South America. I decided to visit. Presently I am working on two complementary projects: the Sheep Pasture Gardens and the Cloud Forest Gardens — each serving a different purpose.
— Thomas Ladd, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, USA
I strive to make photographs that are snippets of ordinary life. In November 2014 I published a photobook, Bungalows, featuring 100 photographs that were made while walking in Durham, North Carolina. Presenting this series as a book emphasizes the commonalities between images. Patterns emerged organically in their content and compositions, as I worked on the series over three years, using point-and-shoot cameras to capture scenes of domesticity.
Although these photographs are rooted in their locality, Bungalows also highlights homes and neighborhoods in a way that is broadly relatable, by depicting them from the perspective of a passerby. I think of this approach as a combination of street photography and candid portraiture that documents the landscapes of a specific place and time. This series is intended to blur the distinctions between public and private spaces. Its images feel intimate, yet a buffering distance exists between the subject and photographer.
I’ve often wondered what someone might think after seeing a photo of their home in Bungalows. I can only hope they would be pleased to know that another person paused for a moment to focus on its unique details and commit that lasting image to film.
— Jesse B. Moore, Durham, North Carolina, USA
I am a California photographer who recently moved to Central New York.
I come from Los Angeles, a diverse landscape of ocean, mountains and desert, uniting with a congested population. Perhaps those of us who live in mega cities often see no farther than the car ahead in grid lock. We define “natural” subjectively or conveniently.
Escaping the city meant crossing perhaps 50 miles of desert to find a pine tree. En route, the surroundings become harsh and isolated. Yet, I couldn’t escape the interaction of man upon the land.
We all seek beauty and that’s why I am a landscape photographer. Yet, I can be as excited about an abandoned building as I am when I see a giant sequoia. Perhaps there is something to be said for the secrets that they both hold, witnesses to forgotten stories that existed before I arrived.
— Renee Akana, Oneida, New York, USA
In 2008, the credit crunch in Spanish banks caused the property bubble to burst.
Tens of thousands of unsold apartments and development sites have turned into new ghost towns around Madrid. The fantasies developers used to project onto these semi-arid landscapes now seem outdated. These towns have been suddenly demoted to ruin status, and evoke a future devoid of any prospects.
The important point here is to remain focused on the ordinariness of things — open to the very ugliness of buildings and soiled nature, which develop their own visual uniqueness — as if apportioning praise and turning it into unreal beauty.
— Jürgen Nefzger, Nice, France
Beauty is in every thing and everywhere.
The task of the photographer is to present it in accessible terms.
This is achieved by providing an incomplete picture, without unnecessary frills, the ideas in their natural state.
This allows you to go back to the archetype, the true source of light.
The light that strikes the film.
— Michele Cabas aka Joe Galaxy, Gorizia, Italy