Solitude is an essential part of an introvert’s well-being. Authentic interaction with individuals and small groups is also necessary and edifying. Nevertheless, I need time alone to process and recharge. Living in a big city with a demanding job and a family can make this a challenge.
This series of photographs represents my pursuit of quietude: to be still, to listen, to see, and to process. Stillness, like any discipline, is an intentional act. One must make the time for it. Sometimes it looks like quiet contemplation or meditation. Other times it looks like engaging in activities that are enriching or cathartic: reading, looking at or making art, listening to or making music, being out in nature, etc.
The reality of each of these scenes at the time of exposure ranged from city parks to tourist-populated beaches to abandoned shores anticipating menacing storms—great metaphors for busy city life. I use my camera to create quiet space, renovating each scene into a personal sanctuary.
Long exposure times ranging between thirty seconds to over five minutes allow the camera to consolidate several moments into one image, registering any movement as indistinct blurs of reflected light, or not recording it at all. The process itself forces me to be patient and still. The result is a tranquil stillness, a silence that breeds introspection and peace rather than loneliness.
These two images (above) are, chronologically, the first and last images I created for this exhibit. In reflecting on how the series took shape over the span of several years, I notice my perceptions gradually shifting from feelings of loneliness to a healthier pursuit of solitude. In other words, I was transformed by this process. I don't always put a lot of thought into the titles of my images, but these two titles in particular do reflect the unconscious shift that happened in me as the series developed. I didn't even really make this connection until I was looking at the whole body of work in preparation for the show.