144: David Simonton

David Simonton
Nahunta, North Carolina, August 2004, from the series "Of This Place: Photographs from North Carolina"

Series Statement
Write about the land beneath your feet. —Eudora Welty

North Carolina has been my home and subject since I moved from New Jersey to Raleigh in 1989. I have now photographed in 365 cities, towns and small rural communities across the state.

I continue to work in the tradition of straight photography, a tradition that embraces process and the unity of vision and craft. I am a black-and-white-film photographer. I use manual cameras and standard lenses. And I process film and make gelatin silver prints in my darkroom.

While I readily acknowledge the documentary nature of my work, I am compelled to photograph by the visual aspects of a scene: geometry, beauty—especially when perceived in the un-beautiful—and the transforming power of light. Twenty-four years after arriving in the South, I continue to make pictures as an homage to home and to reflect my experience of this place.