We pick up the narrative again in relating a frigid February 2015 expedition into the snow-covered hills of northeastern Ohio Appalachia. As I write, a year later, the weather outside my window is not so different from what we see here, so I am channeling my inner Yeti. I’ve been finding taking photographs in snowy conditions is rather interesting; snow can really change the character of a photograph, whether landscape or otherwise. It has both a visual effect—the addition of so much white into a photo frame—and a psychological effect, creating distance, loneliness, sometimes purity.
So a dozen or so years ago I bought my first house. I had lived in a series of apartments for 16 years and was sick and tired of not having enough room for my books (of course, back then I did not quite realize that I was on the hoarding spectrum and would accumulate books to fill any space). Plus, after a long period of financial travail, I had finally gotten out of a huge amount of debt, everything from credit card debt to student loan debt to tax debt, while my job situation seemed to have stabilized. It just seemed like the time to do it. It is hard to believe I have lived in this house 12 years; it really doesn’t seem like it. In fact, I never did fully unpack from the move. I guess it is that way with most people. But somewhere along the line my house became my home. This excursion, taken on a very cold and icy February day into the wilds of northeastern Ohio, has a lot of photographs of houses—and homes, if you take my meaning. It is a very building-intensive entry, but it’s worth the effort.
When I began reviewing these photographs, taken in mid-January 2015, I was struck by how lonely some of the images seemed to be. The dead of winter conspires against sociability; we have to fight against that natural instinct to hunker down, to hibernate. As I take many landscapes and photos of ruined buildings, many of my photographs have that desolate look to them no matter what the season is, but winter accentuates that impression. I am a reclusive person and often deal with feelings of loneliness, but some of these photographs could make anyone seem lonely. Wow, I’m really selling this, aren’t I? Actually, this blog entry contains several of my favorite photographs of 2015.
Here are a handful of photographs from an abortive trip I took into eastern Ohio on Christmas Eve in 2014. I am afraid I do not remember what caused me to have to cut this trip short, so I don’t have much of a story to accompany these photographs. If I am not otherwise engaged, I like going on photography trips on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, because everything is usually so quiet and deserted.