“Landscape photography can offer us, I think, three verities—geography, autobiography, and metaphor. Geography is, if taken alone, sometimes boring, autobiography is frequently trivial, and metaphor can be dubious. But taken together…the three kinds of representation strengthen each other and reinforce what we all work to keep intact—an affection for life.”

—Robert Adams, Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values.

During my road trip across the American West (3 months, 10,000 miles), I read the autobiography of Geronimo, the famed Apache chief. He died just 107 years ago yet so much has changed since then. Thus, I went search for the places where he was born, where he lived and struggled in order to see how they look today.

But besides that, I didn’t try to focus too closely on a specific topic. Broadly, I wanted to examine how our common lot is bound to the land. Exploitation and destruction of the environment is a theme that underlies my work, but through a series of subjective documents. More than anything else, my interest was to establish bridges between two ages, two universes, reality and myth…

In terms of technique, I take my time. I work with a 6x6 Hasselblad. The long horizons cut the square frame in two, providing a very strong structure that highlights the dualities of the moments I captured. Many times, these horizons represented a front between human and natural activity, often with bad consequences.

But sometimes, nature takes its rights back. Sometimes, especially out West, the traces of man are light. It’s so beautiful when life truly flows. I can feel it in me: I breathe, I feel here, in my place, on my planet.

An Indian legend tells of two wolves fighting in man’s heart: one is love and hope, the other anger and fear. The wolf who wins is the one we feed the most.

—Jef Bonifacino