The Pond Project
The Pond Project began without me knowing it when I decided to start carrying my camera every day as I walked the dog around a little drainage pond at the end of our street. I had been primarily a studio photographer working with dance and the nude figure but I found it hard to shoot as much as I wanted with scheduling constraints and studio time. I didn’t initially take my “dog walk photography” that seriously. It felt like a sketchbook exercise, designed to keep the eye active and engaged. However, I began to like the images from the little pond. There was something almost meditative about returning to the same small space – the pond is probably half an acre in size – day after day with simple equipment and opening myself to whatever arose visually. The poet Gary Snyder remarked that “anything looked at with love and attention becomes very interesting.” I certainly began with attention and after a while I developed a certain kind of love for the place. The project also forced me to look at myself. I struggled to integrate what I was doing at the pond with how I saw myself as a photographer – someone working primarily in the studio with people as the subject. As I made room for the pond images, things changed. I began to think about aspects of photography apart from the human figure. I began to look more seriously at the new landscape photographers. I think my understanding of the medium deepened.