As It Lies Origin Story
On a late afternoon in June 2020, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to go with her to the creek to find some golf balls. Her older brother went with a friend earlier and she wanted to catch up and find some of her own. I grabbed my camera and we headed out.
I planned to take some photos of the kids doing what they do, but I soon found some interesting compositions with the lost golf balls. They landed among reeds or were illuminated by a sunbeam penetrating the canopy. Underneath the water, they appeared to shift in shape with the ripples on the surface and take on an impressionistic quality with the water’s reflections.
Before I knew it, I was the one leading the charge to the creek. I was totally immersed in the search. I found myself thinking about what other interesting images were out there for me to find.
By the end of the summer, my kids had collected around 2000 wayward golf balls and I had created a collection of hundreds of images. These are a selection of my favorites shot over the course of 3 seasons in what is essentially my backyard.
Play Your Ball From Wherever It Lands
The title of this series, As It Lies, comes from the golf rule that you must play your ball from wherever it lands. This also describes my approach to these images:
I shoot each ball as found. I don’t touch or move the ball, or change the scene in any way for the photos.
Deeper Themes Emerge
I feel there’s a larger collaboration happening to create these images. It starts with a golfer taking an errant shot. Then nature receives it. The ball is held in place, or moved by wind and water over a period of hours, days, months or even years. Only after all that do I find it and document it.
I’m not a golfer, so it felt a bit odd to start taking photos of lost golf balls. At first, I was attracted to the beauty of the scenes. However, after seeing the resulting images and reflecting on them, some deeper themes emerged…
Whether in sports, business, relationships or creative endeavors, we all know the feeling of taking a big shot and shanking it into the woods. It’s so off-course that it’s not even worth the effort pursue it.
I like the idea of taking someone’s missed shot and making something beautiful out of it. I hope that means the things we try and fail at can lead to inspiration and success for others.
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