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for people who care about the West

Photos and recordings of Pacific Northwest and Southeast Alaska

Review of “Wilderness” by Debra Bloomfield.


Debra Bloomfield
128 pages
hardcover: $50.
University of New Mexico Press, 2014.

San Francisco-area photographer Debra Bloomfield spent five years visiting the Pacific Northwest and Southeast Alaska. These are not your typical landscapes: The photographs collected in Wilderness offer a unique and genuinely personal perspective on the nooks and panoramas of those wild places — a puzzle of sky caught through a close-up tangle of leafless branches; the line where a streak of dark trees cuts a sudden edge into a clearing. The rawness and intimacy of the images lend them an emotional, meditative quality, reminding viewers of our own unexpected, astonishing glimpses of nature. An accompanying CD recording of natural sounds caught on location — the caw of a raven, the crunch of footsteps on snow — amplifies the sensation of being swallowed by wildness, stillness and unity.