MICA student Landon Green takes meditative film photos of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. “After leaving there, I really recognize the beauty of the place,” he said.
Landon Green couldn’t sleep when he first moved to Baltimore. There was the noise — the constant sirens and inescapable light. “Even shutting my blinds I’d still have this big orange glow,” he said. He’d watch shadows of a tree move across the wall until he finally fell asleep.
Green, 20, grew up in the rural town of Mardela Springs on the Eastern Shore, where it’s dark at night. “Most people don’t know where Mardela Springs is, so I usually just say Salisbury,” he said. He didn’t think too much of the place until he left, to study photography at MICA.
“After leaving there, I really recognize the beauty of the place,” he said. “It’s a really influential place now, much more so than it used to be for me.”
Missing home, Green studied film photography at art school. He compares the process of shooting film — or making images, as he calls it — to meditation. “You slow down a lot,” he said. “There’s so much you do with it.” He has to measure the distance from his subject, to pay closer attention to the light. He even develops his own black and white photos in the darkroom. “I remember my first couple rolls didn’t turn out at all.”
But the slower pace was what he was going for. “I’m someone that slows down, and I really have to spend a lot of time with a scene before I take a picture of it,” he said. “I tend to try to go back to places over and over.”
Naturally, his favorite place to shoot is the Eastern Shore, the rural landscapes of home.
“Now anytime I go back I really feel as if the place is communicating with me,” he said. In particular, he often drives an hour or so out to Assateague, where he used to go camping as a kid. (He once tried to draw a map of the whole island.)
“I think it’s one of the first landscapes that I saw that really captivated me,” he said.
People slow down when they get there.