The photographers who have inspired me the most are the ones whose work has been about
the land and people; many of them made a life for themselves on the road—I call them “road warriors”—starting with the U.S. Geological Survey photographers in the late 1800s and the Farm Security Administration (FSA)/Office of War Information photographers in the 1930s and ’40s. There are the photographers from the New Topographics movement, including Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz, whose style and philosophies I have embraced. And even though they’re German, I have to mention Bernd and Hilla Becher, who drove around the country with a ladder on top of their VW bus! And then up to the present, there are photographers like Joel Sternfeld, whose work I admire and who has also offered advice, like how to camp for free. I’ve been shaped by the folks in the Center for Land Use Interpretation, who go
to crazy lengths to get their photographs—devising innovative methods to get their cameras over fences to get the shot. All of them have been out there driving, or flying, riding, galloping, hauling—whatever they need to do—to get that one photograph. And if you get it, it’s complete ecstasy. These photographers, among others, have modeled a way of life as much as an aesthetic.