The Collection

DECODE: Reach Higher

"Reach Higher"

This is my favorite photograph out of the DECODE series. Partly because it is a perfect example of my style of photography, -- it employs a shallow depth of field, color-play, and personification -- but mostly because of what it means to me.

What was the inspiration behind this photograph? I'd answer that question with "the lack of inspiration." I shot this during the winter. A time when nature seems still, arguably lifeless. I would say that was comparable to how I felt about myself and my work at the time. In a lot of ways Reach Higher can be seen as a sequel to Fighting the Fall. In Fighting the Fall I asked myself If I could weather the storm that was mediocrity and make something of myself/work.

As an artist the hardest thing you will ever try and do is make your voice heard. We live in a world where things are severely undervalued. In the internet age we see things for a split-second before moving onto the next. For the artist, trying to remain relevant is hard enough, but trying to become relevant is even harder. Fighting the Fall hints at the artist's struggle; my struggle with finding fulfillment and making my "voice" heard. Reach Higher responds to that struggle by saying "keep on." It's literally in the title... "reach higher!"

I'm not sure what the technical term is for the objects in the photograph, but for simplicity's sake we'll call them branches. These "branches" serve as my subject. They appear to reach or point upward. In a way the ends of the branches look like little hands reaching, reaching for something... higher. I remember composing this shot, looking through my camera's viewfinder, and thinking this was just what I was looking for. At the time I made this I hadn't taken a single photograph for weeks, or even touched my camera. Seeing this frame in my camera was just what I needed. I saw the branches pointing upward and they said "Don't quit. Look up and keep climbing."

If you haven't figured it out by now the title "Reach Higher" is a comment to myself. Motivation to not give up. The scene as whole looks a little ominous, but if the branches could have a positive out look in the dead of winter, so too could I.

It doesn't end here though. Fighting the Fall asked a question. Reach Higher gave answer. In the 9th part of DECODE you'll see the outcome of this internal dialogue I was having with myself through my photographs. And yes, just like Fighting the Fall and Reach Higher the next photograph also features a tree as the subject.

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned for Part IX, find the previous here. Share this post! Join Through the Lens on Facebook.

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