I met Nancee Rostad at a photography workshop in Page, AZ some years ago. I really enjoyed her abstract, colourful work and have one of her prints at home. We became photobuddies and keep in (ir)regular touch as our lives continue on two different continents. Nancee lives near Seattle and in recently visiting Japan, discovered Wabi Sabi, Pascal’s own recent fascination.
I spotted Nancee’s Wabi Sabi images on her Web site a couple of weeks ago and asked her to contribute some of her exquisite photographs to our knowledge pool at DearSusan.
I first became interested in the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi during a trip to Kyoto in 2017, but I never consciously attempted to capture it with my camera until recently. Even then, it only occurred to me that these images felt like wabi-sabi while I was trying to name the galleries for my website. Originally, all of these images were titled “The Pavement Project” and even though they expressed wabi-sabi as a group, I could see that there were two distinct ideas which would result in two galleries: “Wabi-Sabi” & the tongue-in-cheek entitled “Still Life with Storm Drain.”
These images came about when our area was recovering from a recent snow event – rare in Seattle environs. After most of the snow had finally melted, I started to notice how interesting the paved areas in front of our townhouse became in different light and with differing amounts and kinds of moisture (rain, ice, snow melt, etc). Serendipity had struck again! I found it amazing that something as pedestrian as asphalt paving could look so beautiful in, what I came to realize was, a wabi-sabi way. Each day brought new photographic opportunities which represented many of the characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic, including asymmetry, roughness, simplicity & austerity, in other words: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Typically, I tend to be a rather independent photographer, purposefully traveling to a specific location with plans to photograph local iconic objects and/or vistas, yet wandering off to photograph something which happens to catch my eye. I’ve frustrated more than one workshop leader while ignoring what they wanted me to photograph, only to find a another subject which I preferred – just ask Paul Perton. My preference is to photograph alone without numerous distractions or long conversations about gear. I only own two lenses, so any discussion about gear is going to be a short one.
Over the years, I have developed a style of photography with little or no negative space. Whichever subject I’m shooting, the resulting composition simply fills the entire frame. I don’t know why that’s my style, and I guess it doesn’t matter if I like the resulting images.
You can find Nancee at: njrostadphotography.com
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