My interest in the transformation of the built environment started with watching the razing of central Indiana farmsteads for suburban expansion in the early 1990s. These buildings, like the one below, became the subjects of my first landscape photographs.
Hamilton County, Indiana, 1994
While I typically work in urban areas now, I make an effort to spend time in the rural and transitional areas between Indianapolis and Chicago whenever I have occasion to leave the city.
Many of the same issues affect these areas as they did when I was learning about them in the early 1990s, but the region is more complex than it was then. Even with the recent recession, the rural edges are still pressured by suburban expansion, but a variety of other economic and geographic pressures demonstrate the changing rural landscape.
The area is dotted with vestiges of commerce, from familiar billboards and grain elevators to new forms of industry, including wind turbines and industrial agriculture property. Together, they introduce new pressures on longstanding concerns about exurban development while providing some hope against outmigration in truly rural communities.
With those brief thoughts as background, here are a few of my favorite photographs of the places between my former and current homes.