Lick Creek Line is the latest book from American photographer Ron Jude, depicting the story of a trapper in a remote area of Idaho. While the photography itself is quite sober and grounded, the story revealed through the sequencing is somewhat elusive and romantic. Beginning with only a hint of a trap, and a view of the retreating trapper, the next several images plunge us into wild surges of turbulent water, one after the other, until we’re drowned – only to emerge fully in the world of the trapper.
Images of icicles clinging to rustic houses, snowy landscapes, and views into the trees are offset by the occasional bloody realisation of the trapper’s business. Implicit in the story is the contrast between existing within nature as well as the necessary conflict with nature because of that coexistence. Scenes from nearby construction and an unexpected ski lift demonstrate that remoteness can indeed be a misleading sensation. The trapper steps into view only rarely, often obscured or distant. In this way, it’s a conceptual demonstration of his life, without necessity of introducing him as a person. A beautifully rugged and natural photographic story.
Lick Creek Line is available for sale on the MACK web site from April 12, 2012. The book includes a small newspaper insert with an essay by Nicholas Muellner.
Reviewed by Katherine Oktober Matthews.