A Landscape Of Abundance Becomes A Landscape Of Scarcity Photographer Matt Black spends his days capturing images that illustrate the impact of the drought on people living in California's Central Valley.
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A Landscape Of Abundance Becomes A Landscape Of Scarcity

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A Landscape Of Abundance Becomes A Landscape Of Scarcity

A Landscape Of Abundance Becomes A Landscape Of Scarcity

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Matt Black has long photographed California's Central Valley. The area grows about a quarter of the food Americans eat, but Black told us the landscape looks very different than it did just a few years ago.

MATT BLACK: The winter before last, it simply stopped raining.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BLACK: What I've seen is this landscape of abundance become a landscape of scarcity. It strikes you on a very kind of visceral level to go to a place that was green and lush, to go there and look at it now and it's a field full of dust and tumbleweeds.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BLACK: There's one photo of a group of sheep going through a shuttle, a little corral, to be transported to be fed because in the Central Valley they had run out of food completely. And the man who's kind of driving the sheep, who's just desperately kind of twisting around trying to get them up this chute and into the truck. And I just - I think the picture shows the level of desperation that so many people are facing here in the Central Valley in the face of this restriction.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BLACK: People are trying to figure out a way to make it work. People are not giving up. I think the hope really lies in that.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Photographer Matt Black. You can see that photo and others at npr.org.

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