© 2019 Paige Billin-Frye

These “Small Worlds” were photographed in my back yard in Washington, DC, in Rock Creek Park near where I live, and in tide pools at the mouth of the Ducktrap River in Maine. I slosh through the water or plow through the leaves with my camera and a white card (sometimes just a cover torn from a paperback book.) Setting the natural objects against white transforms the larger environment into a very small photo studio. Getting up close produces a portrait of emerging life, death, co-existence - not a glamour portrait, but a bug-eaten one. Isolating the natural objects from their backgrounds allows me - forces me - to look more carefully at what is there while the angle and cropping of the image can hint at something calligraphic or architectural. The images are printed on green or buff-toned kitikata, a Japanese gampi paper usually used for printmaking. Printing the photos on this paper gives me a softened image, a step away from a faithful photographic record.

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