Today we continue our publication of photography with the work of Garrett Cotham, who captured these images in three parts of the world. He describes the images below.
They call Highway 50 “the loneliest road in America.” In the winter of 2011 I was driving between Delta, Utah and Ely, Nevada along Highway 50, a distance of roughly 150 miles. Between those two towns I passed exactly six cars, all within a few minutes of town. Anyone who has spent time traveling through the American West is familiar with the its vast and boundless horizons, and to the curiosity and wonder that type of expanse offers. Considering the desolate, paved highway, I began wondering where do the dirt roads off the highway lead? I wanted to lead the viewer’s eye along the dirt road and up into the snow-dusted mountains, imagining: where does it go?
I took this photo at Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. I was passing through the area on a cross country road trip and stopped to explore the park for an afternoon. As I was hiking across the sand dunes, the wind whipping sand into my face, I noticed the clouds beginning to build. Knowing that a storm was quickly approaching I turned around and got back to my car just as the rain began falling and thunder and lightning began crackling throughout the sky. Along the way I stopped to compose this image. The final image here is actually composed of fourteen separate vertical images, all stitched together to create one panoramic. I wanted to capture the drama of the clouds building up over the mountains and dunes, as well as the intense interplay of light and shadow the clouds cast over the landscape.
The day itself was monochromatic. Rainy and windy on the south coast of Iceland, I found myself walking along a black sand beach, created by the basalt rock that lines the cliffs. Along the way the fine black sand gave way to larger pebbles and rocks, all perfectly smoothed by millennia of weathering. Going south from this point the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean doesn’t end until reaching the rocky, icy shores of Antarctica. I found myself engrossed in the task of capturing in one image both the feel of the weather and the endlessness of the ocean.