Think of Rivers searches for the presence of my parents in the landscape. My dad through the landscape where his ashes now lie, and my mom in the ways she taught my sister and me how to live. These photographs are autobiographical, encapsulating cycles of life and death. They are about my familial experiences and my drive to make sense of my experiences through subjects of landscape, specifically in Rochester, NY where my mom grew up. Making these pictures helps me to make sense of my childhood and my mom’s grief, which turns me towards her. Think of Rivers reflects on stories of my childhood and my coming of age. This paper questions what it means to go from photographing the landscape to mourn the loss of my father to now making pictures in the place my mother was born and raised. The paper delves into formal influences such as Hudson River School painters as well as photographers Justine Kurland, Allasandra Sanguinetti, and Sally Mann. Sections of memoir are sprinkled throughout the paper to reflect on the concepts explored through these images.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Landscape photography--New York (State)--Rochester; Photography of water; Grief in art; Families in art
Photography and Related Media (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CAD)
Pittman, Nell, "Think of Rivers" (2023). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus