"The Hidden World of the Nearby" has gradually become a metaphor for me for much of what I observe about life.
In all my photographing since 1974 there was only one occasion when other photographers were nearby, and they were aiming their cameras across the pond at the fall foliage on a mountainside (see A Pond in Maine) while I was pointing my camera into a patch of reeds in the water.
I now have the feeling about nearly everything I read and hear about our world is missing some crucial observation that would be obvious if we were paying attention and not assuming that we already knew everything or simply going along with what our friends think. It parallels my feeling that were we to think about putting ourselves into each others shoes that people who are nearly by would not be so often isolated from ourselves and from each other.
I think that we evolve simple answers (ideologies) because we are afraid to keep thinking. We look down the road only as far as the next turn. And we conclude the earth will be the same tomorrow, despite the news that it is coming apart at the seams.
Most often I wonder why, in all the talk about the importance of family, there is no talk about what was once a common theme: "the family of man," which to me means that we can only survive by thinking of ourselves as a family instead of as "free" individuals. We are, I believe moving in a catastrophic direction.
This reminds me of what is likely to have been the greatest photographic exhibition of all time created in 1955 by Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art: The Family of Man. (Click on the image below to a link to the Wikipedia article about the book and exhibition.)
Ironically there are only two unidentifiable people in any of my images on this web site (at least as I write this). In retrospect I think I wanted to find what nature itself was doing that I was missing.
The photograph that now comes mind is a patch that I call "rainbow grass." I saw it driving on the Mass Pike ( of course) a few feet from the entrance to a rest area on the Pike in Framingham, Massachusetts. As almost always has happened, I had to photograph it. I had never seen this kind of grass anywhere before or since, and grass is one of my favorite subjects and another example of nearby but hidden worlds.
A CONSEQUENCE IS THAT WE ARE UNAWARE THAT WE HAVE LOST THE EARTH
AND ARE NOW LOOSING THE QUALITY OF OUR LIVES.
There are no longer red maples in the fall where I live, and I expect that before long much of what I have photographed will have succumbed to the heat created by man's inability (or unwillingness) to see what is happening to the earth despite evidence nearly everywhere.
In a way, everything we do or say is nearby and hidden, until we take some willful action to bring it forth. Most important is that we do not realize what most restrains us: a failure of belief that there are infinite discoveries to be made, if we don't block them with thinking we lock in place for reasons that make no sense.
THERE IS MUCH THAT I HAVE TO SAY ON THESE TWO SUBJECTS. You can explore further as I develop the websites: