Underwater 2020 - Summer
Perspectives – alongside light, color and timing – is a fundamental building block of photography, and I’m always looking for new ways to alter mine. Always searching for new representations of the physical world. Most of my photographs were taken around my home in Park Rapids, Minnesota. (The area is known as a resort town, the land of 10,000 lakes, sleepy in the winter with bustling summers.) But sometimes I venture father a field. And while the terrain is familiar to me, I can rarely predict what kinds of compositions I’ll walk away with. Nor do I know what my subject will be. Finding ongoing sources of creative inspiration is a challenge for any artist. More than anything, though, making photographs has become a daily practice for me – one that often feels like a form of visual meditation.
By Jeremy Simonson.
I love to explore different ways of looking at everyday things using natural elements like reflections, light and refraction. I have a passion for landscape and waterscape and showing how colorful, artistic and abstract even the simplest thing can be when you use the light naturally. One of my favorite subjects for this is water. Water is such a beautiful element when interacting with light and movement. Natural reflections of lakes, rivers and streams offer such fascinating frames, showing movement, a representation of light, its counterpart, giving back. Giving away so much, but never telling the truth.
With water, I photograph exactly what I see and do not use manipulation to create or layer the image - just a little extra saturation and contrast to bring out the colors.
Water is vital for all forms of life. Although it provides no calories or organic nutrients, water plays an important role in our world. It is the centerpiece of all life.
As we strive for a happier and more fulfilling life, we can draw a lot of inspiration from water. Despite being soft and humble, it cuts through hard rocks because of its patience and persistence.
So when life throws obstacles in your way, be like water and either cut through them or form a new path that will lead you to your goals and dreams.
The “Underwater 2020” series was not only inspired by water, but also informed by a previous project. For several years I have been taking water portraits of my family at our cabin on Strawberry Lake. At the time, I was concerned about protecting the water and wanted to do a series of images that explored my relationship to this natural resource. Line 3 was in litigation in our region and I would stop and photograph the field of pipes just outside Lake George waiting to pump oil underneath this resource. I would juxtapose the images of aqua colored pipes against portraits of my family surrounded by water in all its reflective beauty. Of course there is no other subject closer to me than family and my love for nature and the memories made at our cabin in Minnesota. My family would become my subject, surrounded by water, staring directly into the camera, adding importance to this precious resource. Deepening my relationship with both family and this resource I wanted to protect. But, after the pandemic hit, this project took another turn.
I moved the subject underwater. Water creates such fascinating frames that I thought it needed to take center stage and envelop the subject becoming the veil or bubble we were all forced to experience. Water, color, reflection and light painting over the subject.
I don’t know about you, but I felt isolated and underwater. We all had our own experiences and this is mine. Inspired by isolation I used water as a symbol to express what I was feeling. Water and light became my paintbrush to explore my own personal struggle of this turbulent time. Turbulence, Reaction, Isolation, Hope, Creation, Struggle. This is how I experienced it.
The rest I leave to you and your experiences.