Black ants ambushing a fallen orange in the sand; a boy, leaning exhaustedly against a chain-link fence; near-barren palms gently blown by the dry mountain air — these are scenes from University of Oregon associate professor of photography Ron Jude’s latest photography book, “Lago,” which was published this year.
“Lago” (Spanish for “lake”) provides a look into the life and landscape of the Salton Sea area in Southern California through 54 photographs. The region is where Jude spent the first five years of his life.
His photography of the region has been distributed across the globe, and “Lago” recently earned a spot on TIME Magazine’s photography website, Lightbox, as one of the best photography books of 2015.
“‘Lago’ is one in a series of books I have done where I’m looking at the landscape through the lens of autobiography and the psychological sense of space,” Jude said. “I’m basically using myself as a conduit to explore this concept.”
TIME’s Lightbox list, consisting of 36 photography books this year, is chosen annually by international curators, critics and well-known artists who personally suggest books from all over the world that have made a difference in the field of photography.
“It’s always great to have your book end up on one of these lists, especially the Lightbox list, which is fairly prestigious; it’s really nice to get that recognition,” Jude said. “In a practical sense, it broadens the visibility of my book, but it’s nice to know that somebody — whether it’s a curator, artist or whomever — thinks this book has made a significant contribution in some way.”
For the complete 2015 Lightbox list, click here.
Jude is in his first quarter teaching at the UO. He recently moved to Eugene from Ithaca College in New York, where he also taught photography. His professional website can be found here.
— By Nathaniel Brown, Public Affairs Communications