My work and my life have always taken me through the heartland of America. After the 2016 presidential election, traveling through the country became viscerally different. The country felt divided more suddenly and powerfully than ever before: between rural and urban, liberal and conservative, working and middle class. I started photographing in the middle of America: the landscape between the Eastern Continental Divide, the center of which is in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, and the Western Great Divide, in the Rocky Mountains.
I have sought out working class people and their environs, spent days with ranchers on the southern border of Texas, met an aging cattle farmer and his herd unable to meet the demands of modern industry in Missouri, found a widow at her husband’s grave in a military cemetery in Virginia. I found something poignant: strength and humanity in Middle America. These vignettes of experience are documented in the language of black and white film, photographed with an 8x10 camera.This work, and use of this camera, is not about quick judgment, rather, about slow perceptions.