Over the past few months I’ve been quietly working on a new series. With the bulk of the work behind me I needed something to follow up the 365 Project. I learned so much from that series and I wanted to build on the lessons learned while creating new work in a new way. One of the things I missed most during the project was regular shooting sessions. Although I did go out and shoot on occasion and incorporate those trips into the Project, the focus was more at the computer and less in the field.
With that in mind there were a number of directions I could take. Take one photo everyday? Another editing project that incorporates and builds upon images taken on the previous day? These ideas had promise and intrigue, but I was craving a theme, a series, an idea. The 365 Project was very technical. More along the lines of a considerable feat, like climbing Mt. Everest or running the Boston Marathon. For this series I was looking for something with a little more meaning and depth, but I still wanted to explore the digital post-processing techniques I cultivated in the 365 Project.
I thought about some of my favorite subject matters and kept coming back to water. There is something so cleansing and refreshing about water. It’s one of our most precious natural resources. Florida is home to a plethora of world-class springs, lakes, and beaches. Unfortunately our elected officials have not been good stewards of our water, and we face a growing crisis that needs care and attention. It was at that moment I realized I could bring attention to Florida water by traveling around the state of Florida photographing water. I had some other ideas to bring into the mix with water, but as I began to bring it all together it was feeling too forced. The elements weren’t mingling in the way I had intended. It took me a while to let go of the elements that weren’t working, realizing that this was just part of the process of developing a new series.
The theme was finally set! The series will focus on one of Florida’s most precious natural resources: water. Photographs will be taken at various locations around the state of Florida, from springs to wetlands, from beaches to lakes. A selection of photos from each location will then be combined via digital post-processing (similar to my 365 Project style) in order to highlight and accentuate the essence and beauty of water at a particular location.
I’m also going to try a new approach to printing with this series. In the past I have always done open edition prints partly because I didn’t know any better in the beginning, and partly because I didn’t know how to execute as I grew more knowledgeable. Each image created for this series will have 46 prints plus 1 Artist’s Proof. Buyers will also get a certificate of authenticity with their print. I’m also simplifying the sizing process by only offering 4 different sizes on specific substrates, each in a limited edition:
30 - 4”x6” prints on 8”x10” mat, museum grade paper and mat board
10 - 12”x18” metal prints
5 - 24”x36” metal prints
1 - 40”x60” metal print
There’s another element to this series that has stoked the inner flame. When I first got into photography in 2010 I was a member of the Gainesville Photo Club. There was a member there, Peggy Goldberg, who would bring up an issue in Ocala with water permits and a cattle ranch (name had changed multiple times), which led me to the Silver Springs Alliance, which led me to being an activist with them and nearly being on the board, which led me to volunteer grant writing for the Florida Springs Institute in 2015. My life changed drastically in 2016 and I drifted out of that role, but I still felt the pull to the springs and water advocacy.
Fast forward to 2019 and this new series was born. This would be an excellent opportunity for me to give back to Florida' water by bringing visual awareness to the beauty that we stand to lose if we continue on our current course. I would love to donate a percentage of my profits to the Florida Springs Institute or the various springs alliances and water advocacy groups around the state.
Now every new undertaking brings an element of doubt. As I embarked on this new series I had to ask myself if this was the right direction to take with my work. The answer came in a big way when I was interviewed for the Spring Arts Festival Poster Artist press release. The interviewer was Lu Merritt. Turns out she is on the board of the Ichetucknee Alliance. I was able to briefly introduce the new project, along with my past involvement with springs, and a lovely connection was made. The Ichetucknee Alliance had a fundraising event within walking distance of my home last week, and I was compelled to attend. This confluence of events at this moment in time answered my question. There is no doubt that this is the right direction to take.
Unlike the 365 Project there isn’t a deadline on this. There’s a lot more flexibility here, aside from the focus on Florida water of course. I already have 5 new pieces for this series. Two of them are up in my store if you’re interested in purchasing a print now. I will also have physical copies available for sale at the upcoming Spring Arts Festival, April 6 & 7. I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you and highlighting the beauty of Florida water, for the love of water. As always I welcome your questions and feedback in the comments below. Do you like this direction? What do you think of this style of work showcased here? What are your feelings on the current state of water? Thanks for following along!