These images trace the transformation of a particle of water from its birth as rain in the mountains, where it gathers in pools, then flows through waterfalls, rivers, lakes, swamps, mudflats, and finally empties into the sea. More concretely, this journey begins in the Smoky Mountains, continues through the Appalachian Mountains of the Carolinas and Georgia to the Okefenokee Swamp, and then ends at the sea off Jekyll Island, GA.
The journey is also a powerful metaphor for the course of human life. Between birth and death, the watercourse way and the human path interact with both natural and man-made phenomena which alter their trajectories.
For me, this journey begins by seeing the images from a wooded path or shoreline. The mechanics and the magic of this historic photographic process begin with intimate contact with the materials, e.g., cracking the eggs to obtain the albumen. It ends when I am alone in the dim light, peering at the images as they progress from brick red to deep purple while bathing in gold solution.
Viewing an albumen print automatically conjures up vanishing visions of the past. The inherently dark albumen prints suit my somber image of this journey into the heart of darkness. I chose the albumen process for its backward look at the forward flow of water—and life.