When I was first thinking about moving to Montana I spoke to someone in Havre who asked why I wanted to move to the plains of eastern Montana. I responded and I said I enjoyed photography, upon which the person asked, "You do know where Havre is located, right?"
I was confused. "Yes, I know where Havre is located." I responded, wanting to add, "I can read a map, you know." The person on the other end of the line said, "Well, we aren't really located close to the mountains, you know."
Many people naturally gravitate to the mountains in the western and southern part of the state. And I get that. Mountains are beautiful, especially for this kid who never saw a mountain until his mid-20s. But I always prided myself as a photographer who enjoyed a very simple composition to my images. I don't like a lot of clutter in my photos. And the plains of eastern Montana were just perfect for experimenting with the art of minimalism and abstract subjects.
I love driving down the gravel roads of Montana scanning for subtle features in the landscape people might otherwise miss. It's those features, often comprising of leading lines, layers, and interesting curves and bends that delight me. Combine those elements with color and I think you can make a very interesting photograph.
In this my latest edition of 20+ photos I am featuring some of my abstract landscape photographs. They are a good example of simplicity I seek whenever I'm out looking for subjects to shoot in eastern Montana. Some might not understand my fascination with the plains and simple landscapes. But if you ask a farmer or rancher on the plains, even if they don't appreciate the finer points of art, I think they can tell you why they prefer the plains to the mountains, too. And although the aim is different, the end results are the same.