ellen jantzenEarlier_Work.html

I am intrigued with how a person adapts to their environment; how they are absorbed and changed. I set about to address this through a photographic photosynthesis in this body of work.


I recently moved to the Midwest after living in Southern California for 20 years and was, at first, unimpressed with my new surroundings. But this move has changed me and impacted my work by forcing me to deal with the reality of a given place. It has helped me pay attention to and appreciate the details of diverse environments. 


Having always been intrigued with various aspects of reality, I chose photography as the medium to help me reveal/obscure truths. Traditionally, photography was viewed as an honest replication of the real world. But, as we all know, even from its inception, photographers used their medium to alter, accentuate and eliminate aspects of the "authentic". As I deal with these issues, I've come to realize it is all about the landscape, the environment…. fitting-in, disappearing, blending-in, and perhaps, ultimately embracing.


At first, I began this series by placing my husband (Michael) in various landscapes and in various poses to both highlight and obscure his presence but more recently I have been photographing headstones in cemeteries and using these as stand ins for the human form. Since headstones represent a person who has passed, my obscuring and blending with the natural environment supports my intrigue with the vagaries of reality. "Back to Nature" is the first completed photo in this series.


reality of place - 2010

back to nature

click to see portfolio of imagesReality_of_Place_Images.html