“As a photographer taking thousands and thousands of images that must be reduced or edited into cohesion to present to the public or viewer, and nearly always a small number like 20 or 30, I am attempting to figure out why I make the decisions I make. Dilemma works have come about by me deciding not to decide. When staring at two frames trying to pick which one is worth printing, then worth framing, then worth putting on a wall for others to see, I wanted to try and pass along the perpetual dilemma I was feeling along to someone else to figure out.” — Ryan James MacFarland
Ryan James MacFarland (b. 1985) creates photographs that address the intangible and transitory qualities of landscape. His images are born out of an overwhelming obsession with nature and its mechanics, notably Tide Study, a series capturing the moon above bodies of water before nightfall. MacFarland’s compositions are usually devoid of of human presence and are sometimes comprised of triptychs or pairings, or reproductions of the same image arranged in quadrants, forming a central diamond shape, suggesting the symmetry and patterns that exist in nature. His photographs reveal how he sees the natural world and attempt to break down the complex systems of nature to their base elements. MacFarland received a BFA in Photography & Imaging from New York University in 2006, and his work has been exhibited internationally.
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