Images of the Southwest: Foreword by Philip Hyde
The Southwest is a very special place for me. Over the many years of travel and photography in the region, there has been a certain evolution in my work from communication of a sense of place, to a search for the essences that express the whole region’s uniqueness.
My method of working has long been a kind of passing through the country, hoping to make discoveries. I want to let the country speak to me without my imposing preconceptions on it. A slow pace is important in this. And, since I can be only a temporary visitor, walking and camping for a month or a season, I must keep going back. I can’t get enough of that warm color, sense enough of the remote wilderness that still lingers in places.
Here the Planet’s basic structure has been laid bare, as if to serve better the consummate artistry of erosion’s creative force, that is even now enlarging its catalog of supreme works.
At the extremes of the year in Summer or Winter, the country may retreat behind a screen of seeming hostility, as with the heat haze of Summer noons, or the bone-chilling cold of blizzard winds that hurl sparse snowflakes across the unbroken spaces. But even then, the country invites you to come again, in Spring or Fall when these ephemeral seasons supply the brightest accents of nature’s scene. This elusive quality is underlined by an increasing awareness that the land’s vulnerable beauty is fading under the onslaught of development.
Emerson wrote: “A nobler want of man is served by nature, namely the love of beauty…. But beauty in nature is not ultimate. It is the herald of inward and eternal beauty.”
Will the “inward and eternal beauty” thus heralded develop in men soon enough to preserve its well-springs? The question evokes a feeling of urgency in what was once called “the land of room enough and time enough.”
SEE ALSO THE BLOG POST, “The Legend of Dye Transfer Printing, Interrupted 1.”