Camouflage is a form of visual deception. A set of methods of concealment that enables visible entities to remain unnoticed by blending with their environment or by resembling something else.
Hunters spend hours, sometimes days, in their hunting blinds, watching...waiting. A link to their source of food, these buildings also become a refuge, a place of contemplation.
Places for observation, these structures offer sanctuary from contemporary life. Getting up before dawn or hugging the twilight hours, hunters exist in a state of heightened awareness. One described the arrival of a deer as a wisp of smoke. ‘You don’t know where they’ve come from and in a second they disappear.
Initially discovered while walking in the woods in Upper Michigan, I was intrigued with the blinds as architectural structures, as well as the contradiction between the poetry of their form and their obvious function. Each structure has its own idiosyncratic construction. While some meld into the landscape, others appear as manmade misfits. Many are made with scavenged materials such as old trailer windows and have quirky, yet functional add-ons of rearview mirrors and thermometers. Others utilize fairly traditional construction methods.
The landscapes themselves are places of beauty; timeless, removed and re-created by long exposures. As I walk the woods, I become a hunter myself, employing light and movement through long exposures.
My photographic work does not comment directly on the ethics of hunting. However I am interested in the complexities inherent in this subject matter. Hunters are a heterogenous group, with contrasting and sometimes contradictory viewpoints and a wide range of motivations. Despite their physical absence in my images, their unique perspective is revealed within these structures.