I spent about 2 weeks driving around the Arizona and California desert between nursing assignments, staying in seedy motels and shooting black and white landscapes. I must warn you, I don’t take the pretty, Ansel Adams approach to landscapes. I approach them as documentary work and freely admit I seek out the lonely, desolate scenes. I’ve always felt a strong affinity for the desert, because it is so beautiful and yet so brutal.
I started on the sparsely populated stretch of Hwy 8 between Phoenix and San Diego and this was the first photo I shot, which set the tone of the whole project.
The more I look at this image, the more it breaks my heart. I think of that coyote, hit by a car and probably still alive, lying by the side of the road slowly dying…looking out over that beautiful vast desert and brilliant blue sky.
The soundtrack for my roadtrip includes the bleaskest, most beautiful song I have ever heard — “Mother of Earth” by The Gun Club. It is something I am considering using for a coffee table book, reprinting the lyrics (if I get permission) with the images. This image is defintely the last line:
“And my eyes fade from me, in this open country…”