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Know the West

Explore landscapes redefined by human influence

In a new book, a photographer captures our collisions with nature.


A few pages into Human Nature, photographer Lucas Foglia writes, “I realized that if humans are changing the weather, then every living plant and animal has already been affected by people.” Foglia’s theory, which is becoming clearer with climate change, became a photographic prompt: If no square foot of Earth is untouched by human influence, then the variety of our collisions with nature is intensified — we devastate the environment, but we also create odd, funny, joyful and aspirational interactions, too. Foglia’s crisp, still images capture this broad spectrum of emotion. Oregon forest workers clear-cut trees planted only decades ago; a woman wearing an electrode cap sits at the edge of a sandstone canyon; a technician stares at the sun’s image in Colorado’s Space Weather Prediction Center; young children awkwardly make eye contact, surrounded by cattle on a Nevada ranch. In Foglia’s world, we haven’t killed nature; rather, we’ve redefined its possible reach.

Human Nature, By Lucas Foglia
92 pages, hardcover: $60
Nazraeli Press, 2017