One bright spot in what has been a rather long and isolating winter was interviewing and writing about Reuben Radding — a photographer and musician who I met through my older son.

Reuben and I not only discussed his photographs, he also shared some hard-won wisdom about his goals for making art. He notes that the road to bitterness is paved with expectations that one’s work must follow a specific trajectory, and that failing to develop an audience beyond one’s fellow practitioners is a trap. With that understanding, his goals are clear-cut and simple,

“The core of my ambition is to make good work. To find an audience for it that feels genuine. I don’t care about fitting into a pre-established path.”

After a winter of taking my own “pretty” pictures of snow-laden trees, and looking at visions of human, culinary, and architectural perfection on social media, examining his work took me to a truer, more essential place.

At first, his images ask you to look, and then, they make you look again.

“Controversial Beauty, A Street Photographer Exposes the Urban Wilds,” Talking Writing, Spring 2015: Nature Tech.

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