LensWork 114: The Black Place

One of my favorite portfolios in LensWork Issue 114 is The Black Place: Two Seasons by Walter W. Nelson. The Black Place is a region in New Mexico, semi-secret, region of black volcanic rock in New Mexico. It was named by Georgia O’Keeffe, who made a number of famous paintings in the area. (Alas, we unwittingly drove past here on our 2012 vacation to New Mexico).

In this series of photos, Walter Nelson visited the Black Place in multiple seasons, capturing a variety of compositions of the monochrome landscape in, surprisingly, color.

In his words:

Reflecting back to my first entry into the Black Place, I was placed into a sense of awe with nature’s magical, mysterious beauty wrapped in black. The subtle gradations of light streaking across a black surface, the trillions of cracks in the earth surface were beyond my comprehension. Black folding earth on black folding earth, with touches of color in between folds. The delicacy of form, the mystery of origin never seen or felt before.

More photos from this portfolio can be seen at his website. For more, The Museum of New Mexico Press has published a book of his photos.

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