May 30, 2016 @ 08:38 EST

Dear Anton,

You speak of hope, but as I think about what you’re saying, it’s endurance that comes to mind. How you found yourself in that tree is something of a mystery, but I can imagine you up there, squinting through branches. It was early spring, the ground was wet and terrain flat. Maybe you felt a little bit exposed. What I want to know is, once you were there, did you find what you thought you wanted? Or did what you find become the image you then desired? Your animal, the flicked tail, its monumental shadow with its confounding, spindly legs. If it were sculpture it would be made of mottled iron.

You start on a journey or down a route of exploration, perhaps full of hope and detailed plans, perhaps unsure but acting anyway. You take one step, then another. Soon, though, you’ve created a way of working, and a little while after that you feel as if you’ve always been that way. How do you ask whether it’s still what you need? Emotions come and go, it’s hard to get out of bed before sunset to capture a certain light. You might travel for days towards a particular atmosphere, enduring the tedium of the road and plenty of time to wonder whether you’re being clever or just bloodyminded. You go on anyway. Maybe you’ve created a program and it’s easier to follow it. Maybe back just isn’t an option, or a diversion elsewhere feels unmoored. Later you might come to find something you need in the the image you made, or the task you accomplished. Is it the image that has value? Does it seem to allude to something else, or do just let it be? Or Is it a marker for the journey, perhaps, the time you spent in that tree?

/// #image_by_image is an ongoing conversation between photographers Ivan Sigal and Anton Kusters@ivansigal @antonkusters on Instagram ///