We are two photographer friends who have been drawn to the Columbia River Gorge for years, photographing and depicting the unparalleled beauty of this wonder, often during shared excursions. In contrast to many contemporary photographers who long to capture pristine and uninhabited landscapes, the views of yore, we both feel that the way the land looks now has an equally tangible and emotional beauty.
We acknowledge the trauma and destruction to the tribal communities and a permanent alteration of nature caused by the arrival of settlers and their descendants. Yet our work also wants to capture a bit of hopefulness that is immanent to the way nature and man nowadays interact: highways and railways, dams, recreation, sources of renewable energy, re-cultivation of land, restoration efforts for the river and its salmon population, and preservation of forests and sacred sites.
One of us has photographed the river and the land in a traditional manner with an eye on what has remained constant and a nod to historical photography in the Gorge, but also with openness to the existence of human activity. The other manipulates photographs into montages that stress the possibility of change being accepted by nature, integrated and used for the benefit of all who populate this landscape.
Both of us are driven in this project by a motivation to use art as a tool to document what is, rather than was has been or could be, forever grateful that we are able to immerse ourselves in the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge.
"Cape Horn After Carleton Watkins, Lily White,
and Arthur H. Marshall" 2022
Carleton Watkins used a large format camera presumably from the deck of a boat for his similar but famous 1887 photograph. I accessed a gravel beach by a kayak across from the Oregon side.