In 1941 acclaimed photographer Ansel Adams made one of his most iconic images "Moonrise, Hernandez, Mexico" that became a center for controversy and discussion for decades later. The photograph became so popular and desired that Adams personally printed over 1,300 "copies" of this photograph during his career. The photograph's reputation and popularity grew even more when a print made by Adams in 1948, sold at auction for the price of $71,500 in 1971 ($432,100 in 2017). In 2006, the same print sold for $609,600 ($740,000 in 2017) at a Sotheby's auction.
Adams was a landscape photographer with a strong affinity to the "American Landscape" and for large format photography in general. Less known is the fact he was also very socially and environmentally concerned with his work as a photographer and as an artist/activist. We tend to think about his grand landscape images that were made into calendars, mug coasters and framed posters at offices and waiting rooms. But his photographic work was political and socially driven from the powerful pictures of trees and rivers that need to be preserved/conserved to the documentation of Japanese American families held in "Manzanar War Relocation Center" in California during World War II.
In the summer of 2018 I went on a photographic road trip around the United States. The plan was to visit old friends that I have not seen in a long time and to explore cultural aspects and the landscape of this country/continent that I have never seen before. Within few days after my departure, the trip became also a journey through the American social landscape as seen and documented by many photographers since the inception of photography. The country that has been my home for most of my adult life, merged with my photographic education and influences I have internalized in the past 20 years while studying, working and teaching in the field.
The submitted photograph was made few hundred yards away from the US-Mexican border, in a place called "Law West of the Pecos", Texas.
At around 10 o'clock at night, while driving southeast, I noticed the moonrise starting to paint this charged landscape between the two countries with a clear and bright light. Adam's photograph echoed in my mind as I got off the main road and discovered these abandoned structures placed just under the moon. It reminded me of Hernandez in the neighboring state, New Mexico, that came to light due to the dramatic photograph Adams made in 1941.
Accompanying my photograph is a "collaborative"' written account of Mr. Adams and myself in making our different moon pictures 77 years apart.