My photographs explore the interconnectedness of spirit and place. Landscape is more than a pastoral scene. It is an expression, a way of contemplating the relationship between what has come before us and the fraction of time that is the present moment.   


The landscape I live in is one of rivers and rolling hills, fields and open skies. I am tied to it by personal history and memory, but this place, like all places, holds a record rich in our collective history. If one looks closely, the fullness of time can be seen in the flatness, folds, flora, and fauna. The evidence is discernible in the strata of earth and rock, erosion by wind and water, and the cycle of growth and decay by the forces of nature and the marks of man. The spirit of a place accumulates in the convergence of past and present. I can see the movement of glaciers, just as I see a flower left ragged near the end of its season by a pollinating beetle.


All of my photographs are created using black-and-white film. Using an old manual camera enables me to slow down and take time to construct my impression of a scene. Playing with focus allows foreground and background to intermingle, the eye to soften, and shapes to emerge. Seeing in black-and-white affords the opportunity to strip away some of the subject’s familiarity and context of place and time, allowing the viewer to form their own connection to these monochrome meditations.


This landscape is infused with memories and collective history, but my camera wanderings bring me back to the present, revealing what is illuminated during a fleeting moment in time.

689 28th St. Des Moines, IA     541.326.1017

All Images © 2020 Copyright / Amee Ellis

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