Terra Galleria Photography

New Series: “The Sign”

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As I became more aware that National Parks nature are also a human construct, in parallel with my nature work, I have been working on a few series that examine how the components of this construct direct the way we look at nature.

I’ve introduced before The Window, in which we turn our back to the landscape and look at a building. The Sign is a dual series in many ways, however it is more humorous.

In The Sign, we face and look directly at the landscape from a designated overlook. The man-made element consists of an interpretive sign which occupies a small portion of the picture, but frames and dominates the way we perceive its space. As the sign includes a pictorial depiction of the land, a dialogue takes place between the land and its representation or interpretation. That representation can be literal or stylized, in direct correspondence or shifted (either in space or time – look how hillsides in the Virgin Islands have become more desirable locations for homes), limited to more names, or making invisible information available.

I see the new series as an extension of my thorough celebration of nature in the National Parks. To emphasize the continuity, I have presented those images with the same color slide film palette. The common organizing principle is that within the series, each image is from a different national park.

The technical trick in The Sign is the use of a the tilt in a tilt-shift lens (usually 24mm) which makes it possible to keep both the lettering on the sign and the distant landscape tack in sharp focus.

See the whole series.

One Comment

  1. Rachel Cohen says:

    Excellent images and series Tuan! Well done! 🙂

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