"Photography takes an instant of time, altering life by holding it still."

- Dorthea Lange


"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know."

- Diane Arbus


Jim Kushman is a fine art photographer living in Portland Oregon USA.





me on flickr 

Photo essays are short bodies of work focusing on a theme or story. I took in some county fairs and a rodeo over the summer to experience a piece of American culture that has been around since the 1800s. One of my strongest memories as a child was going to carnivals and fairs as a kid. The colors, sounds, smells, and spectacle overwhelmed my senses on warm summer evenings.   

I have driven many miles back and forth across Hwy 2 traversing the northern part of Montana called the Hi-Line, a remarkable landscape of open spaces, infinite sky, and shadows of places forgotten. I saw rural America in the 21st century as both timeless and a victim of time passing it by. The land is altered as each generation creates its own human landscape only to be changed by future generations. The Hi-Line landscape includes small towns, American Indian reservations, land and structures dedicated to farming and ranching, the ubiquitous footprint of the railroad, and miles of wire fences. 

"We stand in conversations with worlds larger than ourselves." - David Whyte
One million years is a short time on mother earth. Deep time is measured on a scale of geological events spanning many millions of years. The earth is alive as it splits apart and comes together again in deep time, creating mountains, basins and water features that endure. Our human presence here is a flicker in the abyss of deep time. 

"To go in the dark with a light is to know the light. To know dark, go dark. Go without sight."  - Wendell Berry
Without dark there is no light. These landscapes of Pacific Northwest coastal areas are secret places where I look for harmony between darkness and light as I experience the drama and grace of nature. The images in this collection are my spiritual landscapes. 

We reveal our innermost heart to others like shedding a coat in front of a stranger. Naked and vulnerable, we bravely stand knowing that once removed, the coat cannot cover up what another's eyes have seen and another's heart has felt. 

There are no foreign lands, just foreign travelers, says Robert Louis Stevenson. I like being a traveling foreigner, an observer of people and places unfamiliar, especially in lands rich in history and architecture.