To Begin Again

Fitz, from the series Markings, ©2014 Dave Ortiz

Fitz, from the series Markings, ©2014 Dave Ortiz

I am one of those photographers that needs to work on a specific theme or idea. In between projects I flounder about trying to find something, an infrastructure, for my shooting for a certain period of time. During my floundering stage I am open to anything technology wise or genre wise. Street photography with large format, landscape with small, hand held digital cameras, portraits, shooting images from books, whatever. But during this period I try to listen to my true inner self as to what I enjoy and what I don’t enjoy. This time what I have found is that I do not want to be shooting in the street, hunting for images or situations. I don’t want to deal with people, I want to be alone, by myself in a quiet and reflective situation.

I have actually also been very interested in the subject of landscape and particularly how this particular genre can be made contemporary, Private Compass (ongoing) stems from this interest as well as Up and Personal Ecologies. This time though I want to go back to the forest (mainly for reasons mentioned above). After several trips and shooting with various camera formats I decided upon my Hassleblad and film (Ilford Delta 100).

But how does one make fresh images from a forest? For the longest time I have been fascinated by the carvings people make on trees. They put their names or declare their love; it’s something that is as old as humanity. In addition though, I have always been attracted to how the tree themselves respond to this scarring and how eerily it resembles human flesh sometimes. So this weekend I have created the first of what I hope are many images for this series I am calling, for the moment, Markings.

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