C&T Publications 50 States of Art - 2015 - Page 78

Zak Collins – South Carolina On August 28, 2010, both my daughter (Kate) and son (Jack) died during delivery. They were twins who were stillborn, and my only children at the time. In the months following their deaths, I began to teach myself photography. It was my means for coping with the losses—of not just the children, but my future with the children. I read book after book, focusing most of my attention on the elements of art design and the psychology of aesthetics, and then the technical aspects of photography. I took picture after picture: hundreds and hundreds of street photographs, hundreds and hundreds of portraits, and thousands and thousands of landscape photographs. I was disciplined. I was hyper-focused. I was motivated. But what made it all work was an inherent sense of creativity that had been dormant for a couple decades. Once I began to foster this instinct, is when the medium began to take shape. Eventually, I was able to regain a sense of balance in my life or, in my case, a workaround. Over time, my photographic work progressed from field study to career choice. Since 2013, I have spent much of my energy pursuing the southern landscape as subject matter, concentrating on the coastal and wetland regions of South Carolina. Both regions are very diverse with their own distinctive aesthetic; an aesthetic that is distinct, mysterious, and complex, characteristics I attempt to convey in my photographs. Compositionally, I maintain a reductionist approach. I prefer all the nonessential elements stripped from the composition for maximum effect. I also employ certain compositional techniques to divert the viewer’s attention to the “main” subject of the photograph, resulting in a strong composition that leaves the interpretation or meaning up to the viewer. In the field, I am not simply looking for an interesting subject, but looking for an interesting photograph. An image that will surpass the subject’s obviousness. Therein is where photography becomes art. I don’t really talk about my story to people...the journey from Point A to Point B. Hell, it’s an awkward conversation piece. Nevertheless, I create my photographs to honor my first and second born. Website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/zak-collins.html Here is my piece. It is called The Devil's Rope. An old rope is anchored in the sand on the shore of Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. Quick Notes: The town of Sullivan's Island was originally incorporated as Moultrieville in 1817. On June 28th, 1776, one of the first significant American victories against the British forces happened right here at what is now the location of Fort Moultrie. Unlike the rest of the United States who celebrate it on July 4th, South Carolinians consider Carolina Day to be their official day of independence. The town currently has a population of about 2000 people and they have ensured that the peace, beauty and solitude of the island is not disturbed by temporary residents. There are no motels, hotels, bed & breakfasts or other temporary lodgings on this island. 73