Sea Salt series, Portsmouth, NH 1983

These photographs represent a partial series of images which document the de-salinization of sea salt. This is one stage in the preparation of rock salt, most commonly used to de-ice our nation’s roadways.

When I was first learning photography and exploring the intricacies of the medium I came upon this scene and found it irresistible. It was a perfect opportunity to test my knowledge of the zone system given the scene represented a full range of tones. Aside from this, I knew that with my camera I could isolate certain portions of the scene and transform it into something majestic – the mounds of salt could mimic greater proportions, those of mythic mountains.

I showed these photographs to many area residents and they were awestruck. Every day they had passed by this scene and were non-plussed. Now they saw the mounds of salt as nature’s offering and the living sculptures they’ve become.