More than any other photographic series about hunting I’ve seen, Joe Mannino’s Fresh Tracks makes me feel like I’m there, in the quiet moments or the long stretches of quiet time, waiting for and tracking an animal. I love the way the stillness, depth, light, and colors in the images make me feel like I’m looking into a museum diorama. It’s evident from all of Mannino’s photos that he has a deep and reverent connection to nature. I think picking up on that connection is my favorite thing about looking at photographs.

From the artist’s statement: My life and my upbringing in the landscape have inspired me to make work about the hunting experience. This body of work shows the positives of hunting, the familial bonds, the connection to nature that it provides, and comments on the social and historical impact of hunting. “Fresh Tracks” is a visual record of my experience as a hunter. I am creating this body of work for the same reasons I hunt: for the connection to my environment and my food, because I have a vested interest in the conservation of wildlife and wild places, and to participate in the raw, unforgiving truth of life. Humans and nature are not separate, we’ve separated ourselves. Hunting allows me to understand and acknowledge my role in the ecosystem. Through hunting I am connected to land, animal, and sustenance.

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