Sunday, May 21, 2017

Jacob Dillon: Along A Beaten Track

'Clothing is a just a separation between your skin and its surroundings. Sometimes we just need to connect.'

The first time I profiled model Jacob Dillon, there wasn't a stitch of clothing in sight. (Self-Propelled) Just Jacob's beautiful body and his incredible self portraits. But a guy's got to put on clothes once and in awhile, especially a working stiff. Since that first story in January, Jacob has been slipping on his skivvies, (sometimes.... inside out with the tag out, as you can see in he image above) for his new job at

For many, wearing just underwear to work might seem freeing. A nice change from dress clothes or the suits and ties required by many professions. For Jacob however, the suit he is most comfortable in, is his birthday suit, especially when heading outside to shoot. Since first discovering his work, I have enjoyed following Jacob and his photographic journeys on his social media pages, especially his recent shoot on the train tracks

There are various themes and locations that stimulate me visually. Most FH readers know I love visual imagery which include windows, stairways and old abandoned buildings and structures. Railway tracks have now joined that list. Over the past several years I have been fortunate to feature the work of many artists and models who have used train tracks as a location for their work. There are many reasons why the railway tracks trigger a fascination in me, one of the strongest being their history.

The tracks near my home have not had a train on them for almost 15 years, yet.. they remain. The wood pieces are worn, and grass and weeds sprout up through the side tracks. The path way remains clear however, worn from the many dogs, bikes and walkers that regularly use them. Those tracks, now recreational, were once the main entry and exit for both people, and goods and services that came in and out of my town. The railway was at one time, the town's main employer and many of the people now using the path have a long history with it's mostly forgotten past.

Signs of the past are every where you look, adding to a sense of mystery I feel when walking the path. The tracks near my home have many twists and turns and flanked by farm land on one side, and a river and woods on the other. You never really know what you're going to see as you turn each corner. Sometimes the fields are completely baron, other times, herds of cows are lined up to watch you walk by. Mostly those woods are empty, but occasionally, especially in the evening, there might be a few teenagers hanging around, usually leaving behind empty beer cans, chip bags and a condom or two.

The river is sometimes full of ice, sometimes rushing wildly by and sometimes...perfect still. I have seen otters, river rats and because it's source is the ocean, even the odd seal swim by. Although trains no longer zoom through the area, I can't help but think that the passengers who once rode them, saw pretty much the same sites decades ago that I see as I walk the tracks today. Without any intent, all of this history manages to visually manifests itself within any images taken.

Although the area in which Jacob shot looks to be still functional, you can still feel the past in the worn wood, the rust and weathered appearance of the tracks. I love how the energy and interactions of the human body, especially a naked body, is able to bring a burst of life into medal, stone and wood.  For the brief moments that he is connecting, Jacob doesn't just capture his environment, he revives it.

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