Photography Publications

(For additional publications, see AUTHOR)


Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange’s Photographs and Reports from the Field

(University of Chicago Press, 2008).

To Dorothea Lange, I owe a great intellectual and artistic debt. My decision to produce a book of her unpublished texts stemmed from a desire to repay that debt. Nearly forty years ago, Lange’s work revealed the synergy in what had seemed, in my own life, to be conflicting interests – the study of art and the making of art, the observing and portraying of the world and acting to change it. In Lange I found an ethnographer’s eye, a writer’s ear, an artist’s vision. In Lange, the word and the image, the documentary and the work of art, are one. She inspired me to integrate my own passions rather than to elect one and exclude others, and I moved from art history to landscape architecture, a profession that gave scope to history, ecology, and anthropology, to design, planning, and photography, and to practice as well as scholarship. In the years since, I have come back again and again to Lange’s work asa model for how to capture in photographs and extend in words the meanings of visual images, with the camera an instrument of discovery.

See AUTHOR for more details on Daring to Look.


The Eye Is a Door: Photography and the Art of Visual Thinking


The Eye Is a Door is book about photography and the art of visual thinking. Seeing is for me a way of knowing, and photography a way of thinking.

See AUTHOR – Work-in-Progress for more details on The Eye Is a Door


The Language of Landscape

(Yale University Press, 1998)

The Language of Landscape emerged from a process of seeing, photographing, and writing, beginning with the sorting of my own photographs of landscapes. As I culled, compared, grouped them, then sequenced the groups, ideas took shape: landscape is pragmatic, poetic, rhetorical, polemical; landscape is the scene of life, a cultivated construction, a carrier of meaning, a form of language. Writing, in turn, transformed what I saw and how I photographed. Photography became a way to test ideas, places my primary sources, and photographs and field journals my primary data. While this book is not about photography, photography is central to it.

See AUTHOR for more details on The Language of Landscape


Artist’s Books


(Wolftree Press, 2007).

Thresholds is an artist’s book. I made it as a means of finding peace of mind during a time of change and challenge and hope that it may have a similar effect on those who read it.


“One with Nature”: Landscape, Language, Empathy, and Imagination

(Wolftree Press, 2001)

“One with Nature” is an artist’s book created in a limited edition of six copies on the occasion of the 2001 International Cosmos Prize, October 24, 2001 in Tokyo. The books are in private collections.



“The Conquest of Arid America,”

Topos: International Journal of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design,

It was late July up on Dead Ox Flat in eastern Oregon, just past sunrise. The air cool, no hint of the heat to come (43 Celsius by afternoon). Scent of sage. Sound of water gushing from siphon into canal. This land was desert in the nineteenth century when the wagons lumbered along the Oregon Trail not far from here, and Dead Ox Flat was still desert in 1939 when the great photographer, Dorothea Lange, photographed the Malheur Siphon, built in 1937 to bring the water that transformed sagebrush desert into fields of alfalfa, corn, and sugar beets.

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