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Just as the iconic Silverado has a new look, photographers are recasting traditional
images of the Midwest in a whole new light

By Alice Yoo

It’s amazing to see America’s Heartland through the eyes of today’s most photographers. Using new techniques and advanced technologies, these modern-day creative types are showing us the Midwest in unexpected ways. For Lisa Wood, this means blending multiple exposures and using time-lapse techniques to create wonderfully surreal photos that have a painterly quality about them. In much the same way, the Silverado, one of the hallmarks of the Chevy brand, has been given a fresh new look with its completely redesigned exterior. New inlaid doors and a swept-back windshield design provide better aerodynamics and a quieter ride. The updates aren’t just on the exterior, however, they’re also found in the interior as well as under the hood.

Lisa Wood is in good company. She and other photographers are taking the mental images of the Midwest that we’ve all grown up with and recasting the Heartland in a whole new exciting light. From Terry Evans’ stunning aerial and ground photos of the prairie to Camille Seaman’s stormy weather shots, these images may inspire you to take a special trip to capture its magic yourself.

Idaho-based photographer Lisa Wood combines the natural beauty of landscape photography with digital art. Inspired by the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Wood has created a striking set of zoom-panorama composites under the series name, “The Art of Farmland.” Each one consists of more than 30 images. The wide-open farmscapes she shoots often include a surprising element, like a peacock, which to her symbolizes immortality. As she states, “My farmland series explores our relationship to the natural world, especially now in the age of information and technology. The peacock reminds us that the natural world is immortal while the things created by man are not.”

In “Prairie Images of Ground and Sky,” photographer Terry Evans takes a look at America’s prairies both from high above and on the ground below. Though she never intended to make the prairie one of her subjects, her appreciation for it grew as she learned about the unique physical characteristics it possesses as a habitat. She notes as examples “roots that often extend twenty-five feet into the earth,” or how “only 15 percent is visible above ground; the other 85 percent lies below the surface.” Not only does she get up close to the prairie’s plants while on the ground, she also noticed its stunning patterns while soaring in a plane 1,000 feet above.

In “The Big Cloud,” American photographer Camille Seaman chases supercells throughout the Midwest, from Texas to North Dakota, capturing the fine art of rotating thunderstorms in an awe-inspiring way. By teaming up with experienced storm chasers, she was able to shoot giant, ominous clouds in stunning detail. The supercells she shot consisted of clouds so large they had the capability of blocking all daylight, turning a bright day into one filled with total darkness. Her work, “The Big Cloud,” spanned four seasons, from May 2008 to June 2012, and included breathtaking shots of the heartland set against some truly spectacular weather.

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Alice Yoo is founder and editor-in-chief of My Modern Metropolis, a place where trendspotters and art enthusiasts come to connect over creative ideas—a must-visit culture destination. Follow her on Twitter @mymodernmet or @aliceyoo.

Photo by Lisa Wood



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