Daily Picture Show

Sawdust Mountain

For the Pacific Northwest, times have changed since the frontier days of Darius Kinsey. Back when both the American West and the art of photography were still young, Kinsey used a large format camera to document the logging and lumber industry. Contemporary photographer Eirik Johnson has a similar documentary project, but his images show a landscape much altered by years of deforestation.

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Johnson's series and Aperture book, Sawdust Mountain, "encompasses not only fishermen and hatchery specialists, lumber workers, and reforestation projects, but also the disenfranchised: abandoned buildings and vehicles, makeshift stores only one step above yard sales," says the introduction. It provides a glimpse of life in the overcast, wooded hinterlands of Oregon, Washington and California, and compares our romantic notions of the American West with ecological concerns of today.

Johnson has an upcoming exhibition at Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. To view more of his work, take a look at his Web site.

Images courtesy of Eirik Johnson, from the book Sawdust Mountain (Aperture, 2009).

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