Cody Cobb (b. 1984 in Shreveport, Louisiana) is a photographer based in Seattle, Washington. His photographs aim to capture brief moments of stillness from the chaos of nature.
For weeks at a time, Cobb wanders the American West alone in order to fully immerse himself in seemingly untouched wilderness. This isolation allows for more sensitive observations of both the external landscape as well as the internal experience of solitude. Through subtle arrangements of light and geometry, the illusion of structure appears as a mystical visage. These portraits of the Earth’s surface are an attempt to capture the emotion of the land as much as the topography.
Five Questions to Cody Cobb
How would you describe your photography to someone who has never seen it?
Emotional portraits of dirt.
What makes a great photograph?
To me, a photo’s ability to invoke an emotional response is so crucial to making it great. Sometimes, I think I’ve become somewhat desensitized to that power of photography because of how many images I see in a constant stream on my phone. But, then there are the ones that really grab me and don’t let go. I love it when an image demands that kind of attention and gives you so much in return. For my photography, I find that it’s so difficult to not only capture the Earth as it appears but also my own internal experience of it. I’m still trying to figure out how to capture landscapes that feel more like portraits, invoking feelings beyond awe and wanderlust. I want to capture mystery, loneliness, sadness, fear, confusion and humor.
What’s your main source of inspiration when you’re behind the camera?
The experience of being alone in these very strange and very large places is what inspires me the most. That mindset brought on by isolation and exhaustion when mixed with the right light gives me a buzzing energy. That’s the experience I go outside for, I just happen to have a camera with me when I’m out there.
If you had to pick a song or album to soundtrack your work, what would it be?
Right now, it’s Shiho Yabuki’s ‘The Body Is A Message Of The Universe.’ It transports me to a distant place when I listen to it, I want my photos to do the same for people.
Who are you top three photographers at the moment?
Brendan George Ko, Cheyna Carr and Ron Jude.