In 1973-1974 I walked across the country, from Maine to Oregon via West Virginia, and took these photographs of the people I met. As a photojournalist I wanted to create an intimate portrait of America that would coincide with the Bicentennial. I processed all the photographs over a two year period to put into a book. For several reasons, mostly financial, the book was not published and I put everything away in storage. Then, in 2006, some 30 years later, I took out the 500 contact sheets I had from the 35 mm film I shot on the walk and digitized them. Magnifying the contact sheets on my computer I began looking at each of the photographs all over again. Needless to say, I found things in them that I wasn't aware of even when I took them. I took this new vision with me into the dark room where I worked for most of 2006 printing hundreds of finished prints from the original negatives on high quality silver paper. I scanned and digitized 500 of those photos. In the final step I printed the photos right from Photoshop on an Epson R2400 printer using archival inks. What I see looking at the photos a second time around and more than thirty years later is the people and their wonderful openness, their ease, how they allowed themselves to be curious, vulnerable, and present with me. I doubt I would get the same response today if I did the whole trip over again. Of course, the openness, the ease, the curiosity was reciprocal! I was comfortable with everyone I met without exception. I admired them. They were wonderful! All of them! They were amazing! You can see it in the photos. They were warm, generous, lovely and brilliant. Their photographs really deserve to be seen.
The photos are now in chronological order, the same order that I took them as I walked across the country, but the site is still 'under construction' as I will be doing some fine tuning now and then. I hope you enjoy the photographs. Don't forget: you can enlarge individual photos by clicking on them so you can see them properly. Thanks. Alex MacPhail
All of the photographs appearing in this blog are covered by copywrites (1976, 2005). Please don't use any of the photographs for any purpose without my written permission. Thanks, Alex MacPhail