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Leaving Ithaca

For three years, I lived and worked in Ithaca - a little town tucked away in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. Ithaca is probably most commonly known for its educational institutions (namely, Cornell University and Ithaca College) and its beautiful landscapes. Walk down a random street and you're sure to spot any number of cars bearing the iconic green bumper stickers proclaiming "Ithaca is Gorges" in bold, white letters. But just like anywhere else, the appearance of a place can be slowly discolored by one's experiences in it. Despite its beauty, I wasn't there long before I knew that leaving Ithaca would be inevitable.

For almost every day of the three years I called Ithaca my home, I walked through the campus of Cornell University. The campus is a gorgeous mix of the old and the new, with deep, green ivy covering most buildings and meticulously cared for gardens scattered throughout. When classes are in session, the campus feels like a bustling city. During the summer months, however, it can feel like a ghost town.

These pictures were captured in the hot summer months of late-summer, a few weeks before I moved away. The images are subdued, desaturated, and devoid of human activity because that's how I'll always remember the latter period of my time in Ithaca. I had experienced a great loss when I lived there, and the sense of isolation I felt unwittingly influenced these photographs.

Things got better, as they often do. These days I look back fondly on my time there, recognizing it was a pivotal point in my life. Although, as I was taking the last of these photographs before leaving Ithaca, I had a hard time imagining a reason to return, so long as I had these pictures to remember it by.

Endnotes: All images, Nikon 1 V1 with Nikkor 1 18.5mm f/1.8 and Nikkor 1 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6