Photographer and explorer Paul Sisson travels, his camera on hand, seeking spontaneity. His series Not so far from here takes him to the West of the United States and its vast, isolated spaces.

Paul Sisson has been fascinated by photography since he was a teenager, but still favours, to this day, the spontaneity of youth. His pictures study travels, loneliness and freedom. They become canvas, exploring the human condition. ‘I feel like photography is a perfect balance between art and science, truth and deception’, he explains. ‘You can tell the story you want with photography, but a photograph never lies’. Indeed, in his pictures of American landscapes, realism and imagination seem to overlap.

The beauty of decay

Not so far from here illustrate a lonely road trip. An excursion into an abandoned West, as he looked for landscapes where nature has overcome mankind. ‘I would take the roads less traveled, focusing on the journey rather than the destination’, Paul remembers. ‘It is an incredibly freeing experience, to be on the road without any obligations or distractions’. In those isolated places, population seems to have run away. The images take us back, to another time, away from big cities and technology. Ruins society has left behind are slowly fading out, overtaken by a nature reclaiming its rights. ‘I’m always interested in the way these human-made items interact with the natural landscape. It is not something you’re able to experience in urban areas that are built up to the point of swallowing the horizon’. Twenty-one States traveled, and 25,000 miles driven… Paul Sisson’s rural landscapes remind us of a conquest: the conquest of an abandoned, almost surreal West.

© Paul Sisson