Iowa prairie and wooded area. Searching for signs of life…decay. A friend of my family was missing and I took these photos as we searched for him or his car in nearby fields and wooded areas. Each day we looked, I had a growing apprehension about what it was we might find. As the sun set and we ended each search, I thought, “The bad news is that we didn’t find him. The good news, on the other hand, is that we didn’t find him.” Of course I wanted to find him, but I knew that as more time passed, the likelihood that we would find him alive diminished. The day I took these pictures I felt particularly torn because it felt there was more of a chance that if we found him, he would not be alive. Not finding him meant there was a chance he was out there somewhere—even though it would have been very unlike him, perhaps he had just skipped town.
Juxtapose these morbid thoughts and fears with the crisp fall fields and beautiful surroundings. Close ups of the flora and fauna along with decaying logs and fungi allowed me to capture the ironic beauty of an otherwise unproductive search. This piece was the result of my processing this experience.
Addendum: His body was found the following spring inside his car in a nearby lake. I am grateful for the closure this brought to his spouse and step daughter. RIP.