I graduated high school in 2012 and shipped myself off to the city of Boston for higher education. Little did I know the city would poke and prod me in ways I had never felt before. Within the first week of living in a large metropolitan area I noticed changes in my thought patterns and behaviors. The sense of living like a caged animal stuck with me for the four years to come. I desired to be somewhere that I could see the horizon in full, but there was a beauty in the city that remained quiet and only evident to the patient eye. There was a wealth of knowledge for me to soak in while I dreamed of western exploration and adrenaline filled adventures.  I wanted terrain to run over, mountains to scale and most of all more natural inspiration. My projects took a standstill when I realized street photography just was not giving me what I sought out for. All I could focus on was educating myself about my predecessors who were able to explore uncharted land, photograph National Parks for the Works Project Association and feel…ultimately free. I desired the bliss I knew existed in creating powerful landscapes and contemplative black and white images. I decided I needed to obtain that bliss.

I began to take summer and winter road trips, traversing the country numerous times, creating new works of my own art to share with others. By using the land as my ultimate inspiration I found myself capable of educating others about the delicate treasure that is the land we call our home.

After a summer of many miles in both vehicles and on foot, I packed my belongings and relocated. The Rocky Mountains had struck me in the past and I picked Colorado as a new home. Though I have plentiful access to mountains, deserts, wilderness areas, National and State Parks, part of me misses the hustle and bustle of the cities back in the North East. They may not have been the place for someone like me to stay permanently, but the city gave me the ability to visualize a greater goal.

I am currently working on an on going, extensive project of photographing every National Park as well as many National Monuments and National Forests. This project will continue as long as necessary, teaching me about myself and my creative potential along the way.

See more of Tara’s photography on her site tarabutler.org or click here.  We’re a huge fan of her “Witness” project!