Artist Statement

Split Rock Camp, taken on Black Sand Beach along the Lost Coast Trail, while working on my Keepers of the Lost Coast project.

Split Rock Camp, taken on Black Sand Beach along the Lost Coast Trail, while working on my Keepers of the Lost Coast project.

The photographs presented are a documentation of my explorations of the region of North America’s 40th° latitude, as far west as you can go before entering the Pacific ocean, otherwise known as Humboldt County, California.

After a number of years splitting time between NJ and the Pacific Northwest I made the move to Portland, Oregon. My intention was to create a new life and grow a relationship which began in the region a few years prior.  The following spring I lost my father to cancer and the relationship soon after. Alone on the west coast, I ventured over 300 miles south to Humboldt County to visit my closest friend in the west and collect my thoughts.

Exploring a new place was key to healing. What was intended as a short visit has lasted nearly three years. There is a draw to Humboldt County I cannot explain. These images document my attempt to understand a new region while coping with loss and learning to be alone. In some ways this was a return to a natural state. I grew up as an only child and spent countless hours on my own exploring rural and little known places in Southern New Jersey. To be alone in unfamiliar territory was a strange comfort.

As an explorer and an outsider I often found myself observing the interactions of others with and within the landscape. To truly document much of Humboldt is to include people. In a region nearly half the size of NJ with 1/64th the population, it’s surprisingly uncommon to encounter many of the region’s spectacular landscapes without people.

From my perspective everything in Humboldt is strange and wonderful, sunsets over rocky shores, ancient redwood forests, blue green rivers, misty mornings, dark skies, endless mountains, mile upon mile of dirt roads, a temperate climate on the coast, hot dry summers inland, and a mix of four seasons in the hills. Exploring Humboldt has given me the opportunity to grow as an individual and as a photographer. It has expanded my understanding of variation in light and landscape and the potential for great differences from one region to another despite fundamental geographic similarities.

Though these images would exist regardless of their ability to be shown together, this collection exists because of the opportunity to present scenes from one end of the 40°N latitude with the other.