My assistant Matt and I launched my little flat boat loaded with photo and lighting equipment at the landing off old Highway 51 in Manchac. It was an early February evening, the air was brisk with a winter storm brewing on the nearby New Orleans horizon. Right past the launch, there’s a railroad bridge that sits so low you have lie down in the boat to pass beneath, offering a closeup view of countless crawling creatures seeking refuge from the storm. Launching at night with a nearby storm creates an energy of excited tension; it’s dangerous but photographers knows bad weather means good photographs.
Many of my photographs depict lush, green cypress trees, a consequence of my typically shooting in the swamp during warmer months. The resulting images highlight the beauty inherent in a landscape flourishing with life. Another of my goals as a photographer is to engage viewers in more challenging subjects. With the storm clouds reflecting the city lights in the background and the bare boned cypress arching in the foreground, I had the chance to create an image that questions the longevity of inland cypress forests due to threats from coastal erosion. These threats are difficult to address, how do you photograph land that is gone?