Inside this issue
I am an amateur landscape photographer originally from the United States now residing in Japan. I am drawn to nature out of a desire to connect and organize the chaotic to showcase its true beauty.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
There’s been a lot of grumbling recently about the Instagram algorithm, but it’s worth spending some time looking through Explore - that’s how I found one of Mark Davis’s images which led me to both his profile there, and the idea that there might be a story to go with the images.
It’s easy to delude ourselves here in the UK that it’s only the last few years that have been difficult, but talking to Mark reminds me that the 21st century as a whole has been a time of challenges and of changed lives. It makes me very happy that Mark has found a passion for photography, and that this has helped him come to better know the nature of his new homeland.
Would you like to start by telling readers a little about yourself – where you grew up, what your early interests were, and what that led you to study and do?
I am from the United States and grew up in the Northeastern part of the state of Arkansas. I believe this region of the United States shaped my love for the outdoors and nature. Arkansas is largely a rural area of the country and has its nickname, The Natural State, which is spot on. The state has a diverse landscape with an abundance of farmland, woods and forests, lakes, rivers, swamplands, and mountains to explore and get lost in. That is just what I did while living there. As a child, I did not realise how special Arkansas’ diversity was, but in hindsight, the diversity gave me opportunities I can appreciate as an adult. Arkansas’ rural culture and its landscape helped to shape me as a person and as a photographer.
Fast forwarding to my early 20s, I decided I needed to get out of my hometown and see the world. One sure fire way to do so was to enter the military, where I picked up a few skills and some schooling. However, things changed quickly after I enlisted.