Today I started my job as an Ecolab Assistant. I will be working in the Ecolab with Marian’s Restoration Ecologist. I’m really excited about this job. It will be a lot of fun getting to work in a place I love a lot and actually making an impact on the place. I’ll be doing all sorts of things from maintenance to helping lead school tours to removing invasive plants to taking pictures of everything in the Ecolab. I will get to learn a lot and get paid doing it.
Already to 100 photos. 100 days. It certainly doesn’t seem like that long. Recently I’ve been thinking about photography and why I chose to be a photographer. Hannah asked me why I loved it and I couldn’t give her just one reason. I think back to when I started and I started because Brandy and Liz were shooting a lot and I thought I should give it a try. And now that I’m studying it, and I shoot every day, and I want this to be my life, I think about why I do it. And I guess I have three reasons. The first is that I try to capture some of the insane beauty that surrounds us. Everywhere I look there is beauty. Some of it is so amazing that I have to put my camera down and just look. No photo I ever take will fully capture some things here in this world. But I try my best to capture some of it. And the next reason is to show to whoever will look, that so many things, very common things that are overlooked, are beautiful. Like I said, I look around and see beauty everywhere. I see it in the weirdest places and in the smallest, most ordinary things. And I want other people to see it too. So I shoot and I hope that someone will see what I see. And finally there are certain things I shoot, that I get to preserve. As a photographer, my medium is light and time. Photographers have the unique ability to stop time and preserve something indefinitely. So I find things that are lost, forgotten, abandoned and dying. And I like to think that I save them. I keep them alive, for a little while longer. When everyone else has abandoned them, I find them and capture them and remember them. I remember I found an abandoned house and got to shoot it. About a week later it was struck by lightning and it burnt to the ground. Nothing was left. But it lives on in my photos. So there it is. That is why I do what I do. That is why I love what I do.
Another abandoned house. Another lost story. I’ve explained before how I’m drawn to decaying, abandoned things. Every time I see a house like this I wonder what happened. I want to know what it’s seen. I want to know the lives that have been lived in it, the memories it keeps, the secrets it hides. Why did this house, and not some other, get left behind, forgotten? Why was this one left to rot? I’ll never know. I guess it’s the mystery of places like this that makes me love them. I also like the idea that I get to capture them and everything they keep secret with a photograph. I get to preserve what was once forgotten and lost. I get to keep something alive that was left to rot. And I’m not just speaking metaphorically here. I took a few photos of another abandoned house last year and a few weeks after I got the photos, the house was struck by lighting and burnt to the ground. The only thing that was left was charred pieces of wood and some bricks from the foundation. That house is gone forever, but it lives on in my photos. And I at least will not forget it.