Drawing inspiration from personal experiences and my appreciation for both the social and physical landscape of the Appalachian Rust Belt region, the images included in “Through the Trees” were shot on film over the span of five years using cameras that are old, outdated, worn out, faulty, and somewhat broken. The film is developed and returned to for digital editing many months later, creating a distance from the images and their occurrence. This lends them the ability to exist as an encapsulation of a memory or possibly a dream. The images - much like our memories - are often inaccurate, fractured, blurred, spotty, fogged, oddly cropped, disordered, and otherwise clouded by other memories or dreams; yet they can still be filled with beauty, magic, and wonder. Heavily focused on nature, they represent both a rejection of and an escape from a world affected by corporatization and industry. The natural world was here before the buildings and before the people who worked in them and it will hopefully continue on long after it all has gone. It is necessary to reflect on nature’s role in the lives of those who live in the Appalachian Rust Belt region, as it is to reflect on joy, curiosity, beauty, relaxation, and the power of family, friendship, and community. Otherwise we run the risk of only regurgitating the images and stories that we’ve seen and heard before concerning the fall of industry and economic disparity.