Posted on September 19 2016
The images present at LoosenArt belong to the series titled "Railroad Landscape", a project dedicated to US railroads and to the symbolic value these have taken in the culture of this country
The images present at LoosenArt belong to the series titled "Railroad Landscape", a project dedicated to US railroads and to the symbolic value these have taken in the culture of this country, a metaphorical depiction of the railroad whose spirit has imbibed the American psyche since its inception.
As the same Sanderson says, his photography is a kind of "extension of what Walker Evan's called the lyric documentary", he explores the urban and rural American landscape using the documentary method but at the same time he demonstrates the interest on employing the photography as a means through which to convey a poetic vision of his experience.
Railroad Landscape is the testimony of a long journey, images are crossed by the tracks that make up the thread of a nation which tells of itself, guide the viewer just like a "passenger" who discovers his landscapes, cultures, past and present.
As I have grown as an artist it has become apparent to me that I've confronted the deepest levels of my personality through my photography. Every photograph I take speaks to something deep inside me which has developed up to that point in time. But one memory, a singular observation from my childhood has stayed with me...
For about two years I lived with my father in Delaware. We would often drive to New York City, about a two hour drive. Leaving in the early morning in order to beat traffic, after about an hour's driving time the sun would rise in the east over the New Jersey landscape. As we drove, I often slept in his pick-up truck throughout most of the trip, but this time I awoke from my nap beside him. It was a particularly rich sunrise, and as I looked out from the window I spotted the most intriguing sight. Against the bright sky, a red hot-air balloon rose up above the landscape, its translucent color illuminated with the rising sun. The simplicity of this moment has never escaped me, nor has the emotion and excitement it stirred left my memory. Each time I grab the camera to take a picture, I feel like I'm returning to that moment.
To quote a recent passage I wrote on a photography trip:
"Long stretches of time spent in observation, with the camera next to me sitting on the foam pad, which I sleep on, leaning against a pillow. It is a traveling companion, in a way. Its presence alone forces me to look, to keep searching for something to photograph that's important to my own biases and taste. It speaks to me not in tongues but in stasis -- I looks restless there, or at least I see it as such -- and I want to point it at something, figure out what lens to use and peer into that big ground-glass at the world. After all that comes the click of the shutter. It's an acknowledgement of the frozen moment, when time and place is recorded, never to be seen quite the same way again. The power of reality, or the suggestion that a photograph describes is a reality, underscores what a photograph extracts from the infinite, unsculpted mass that is the visible universe."
Many people wax fondly over the 'zen' like quality using a large format camera imparts. I'm here to affirm that cliche. The slower, more deliberate process with these cameras undoubtedly forced me to hone my vision to where I feel I'm creating images that speak to something beyond mere surface ornament.
The relation between past and present was humbling. I began to consider the railroad’s environment as a way of expressing the qualities of movement, space and explore how the geometry of a rail line can be formed into a harmonious balance with its surroundings. Yet these images also speak to my background in the social sciences, documents of the decay and progress surrounding the railroad corridors.
Studebaker Plant, South Bend, Indiana
I have a strong preference for color photography, at least at this point in my career. The way some photographers can look at an otherwise mundane subject and bring it to life through the observation of certain mixtures of color and shape is something I strive for in my own work. Along those lines, I feel many of the subjects I work with demand color to bring them to life. There are often very subtle shades of reds, yellows, and oranges from industrial subjects represented in my work. This would be lost in black and white.
Aside from the Railroad Landscape project, I am developing a wide-ranging project with the working title American Traditions. Pulling together an eclectic array of photographs this project is distilled into short picture sequences which begin with text in the image, a literal beginning to figurative end.
Steelways Shipyard, Newburgh, New York