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An Up Close and Personal Survey of the Tiny Critters in American Backyards

Joshua White

Joshua White

I was attracted to Joshua White’s project, A Photographic Survey of the American Yard, upon first glance, but I really fell in love with the impressively comprehensive series while carefully going through the massive amount of pictures. White lives and works in Boone, North Carolina, and his survey consists of over 400 images, all cataloging the various flora and fauna of the typical backyard. Some of the objects and creatures look otherworldly, some insanely beautiful once you really focus in and notice its detail the way White has. It was hard to chose my favorites, but I love the pictures of strange critters, living and dead. I also appreciate the images’ consistency; all made on an iPhone, the parameters for the image-making vary little. In fact, noticing the subtle differences from older images to newer ones is part of the project’s charm, I think.

From White’s statement: “This series started as an exploration of the plants, insects, and animals found in my immediate area. I am using my iPhone to capture these images, and all the editing takes place on the phone. Originally these images seemed like a diversion from my greater body of work dealing with memory and loss, but now it seems, as always seems to be the case, they fit right in.

My mother tells me I used to lay on my stomach and watch ants in the grass. I also remember catching June bugs off of her wild roses in a styrofoam cup. And I remember finding box turtles, and waiting to hear the cicadas come out in summer, and getting tobacco juice from a grasshopper on my fingers, and catching lightning bugs in a pickle jar. My hope is these images make you think on those times, too.”

Joshua White

Joshua White

Joshua White

Joshua White

Joshua White

Joshua White

Joshua White

Joshua White

All images © Joshua White

This post was contributed by photographer Emma Kisiel via her photo blog, Muybridge’s Horse.

  • melanie

    Very curious and endearing. Checked his website and the images are for sale at 4″ x 4″, smaller than the reproduction here; so a little unsure if the details we see on the screen will be so apparent in the images. Love the circular distortion, that points back to the platform of photographing ie; iPhone.

  • Hi Melanie,

    Thanks for the kind words about the work. I tried the prints at many different sizes, and 4″ just feels right when you see them in person. The details are certainly smaller, but force folks in for a closer, more intimate viewing. Thanks again for taking a look!

    Josh

  • melanie

    You’re welcome. They’re fabulous and I do like the intimate size. Look forward to seeing them in an exhibition some time.

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