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With a focus on the more storied aspects of her treasure-seeking boyfriend’s life, Seattle-based photographer Jenny Riffle draws a fanciful existence from the real life of Riley for her series Scavenger: Adventures in Treasure Hunting. She photographs Riley on his hunts, photographing his wanderings and the objects he finds and collects. While visions of unearthing riches from beneath piles of junk may spring to mind, fueled by antiques and diggers shows, know that Riley digs for fun. Though he does supplement his income, his scavenging is a hobby, making this more Tom Sawyer than Treasure Island.

It is fairly safe to say the project wouldn’t verge on mythology if Riffle had, for example, incorporated scenes from Riley’s day job as apartment manager. By purposefully leaving out any aspects of his life apart from this, Riffle creates the vision of a modern-day Tom Sawyer, or a past-century adventurer, a free-wheeling nomadic wanderer, in a potentially post-apocalyptic space devoid of other people but still full of their remnants.

Riffle’s work is on view now through March 1 at the Griffin Museum of Photography, with a reception on February 19, 2015. All images © Jenny Riffle.

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