Sap in Their Veins

“These portraits of loggers are deeply human and the Falling Tree images are unique in the history of photography.” — Roy Flukinger, Historian, Harry Ransom Center, UT Austin

In the late 1980’s the Pacific Northwest was deeply divided in what was often referred to as the Spotted Owl Wars. Rural logging communities were fighting to protect their often multi-generational way of life. And urban environmentalists were fighting to stop logging of all old growth timber and the practice of clear cutting.

The divisions were deep, passionate and mostly unyielding.

Working with Dan Taylor, the curator of The Mendocino County Museum, our intent was to focus on the lunch bucket crew and leave out the politics of who decided how and how much to cut. Through personal portraiture and oral histories we hoped to help bridge some of the divide.

In 2004 I traveled through the same northern California regions again to make portraits, record stories and discover what had changed in that fifteen year period. An exhibition of the older and new work was scheduled to be exhibited together at the California State History Museum. Due to major shifts at the museum the exhibit never happened until now.

This exhibit is relevant today because we are again living in a time of deep divisions across the land, and I believe in the power of stories that reflect our shared humanity to help bridge those divides.


Raul Mora Avalos, Hook Tender

2004 / Fort Bragg, CA

Oral History: “The best part of my day is when I get home and my little girl runs across the room and jumps into my arms and says, ‘Hello sweet daddy.’”


Falling Tree #2, 1989

1989 / Scotts Valley, CA


Summary Exhibit Information

All images: Framed in satin black wood with archival Rag matting and OP3 acryllic

Portraits: 30 — Image 18x12 / Framed 24x18

Falling Trees: 13 — Image 25x20 / Framed 31x26, 2 — Image 15x12 / Framed 21x18

Linear Feet: 98 linear feet without space between images.

Crates: 3 Custom crates, foam lined. Each framed piece is wrapped in a heavy duty plastic bag. There is a double ply sheet of cardboard between each frame. One crate at 220 lbs. H39”xW23”xL39” with two heavy duty handles on each end - forklift ready. Two crates at 140 lbs. H25”xW23”xL31” with one heavy duty handle on each end.

Next availability: May 2020

More Information: Contact David