My Alabama: John Dersham Photographs a State
Alabama -- what's the state known for? Slavery, Civil War, segregation, civil rights, football, literature, art, music, cooking, the space program, agriculture, steel, coal, marble, the auto industry, and medical research. All true. But then there's this: the most biologically diverse state east of the Mississippi; the fifth most-forested by percent of landmass; one of the richest river complexes in the world; home to the most aquatic species in the nation, the wettest city, the largest inland delta system; five distinct physiographic regions; and four real seasons. What that adds up to, if you're as talented as master photographer John Dersham, is a canvas of spectacular beauty. In My Alabama, Dersham presents two hundred images revealing the diversity and bounty of the twenty-second state as it celebrates its two hundredth anniversary of statehood. The book is loosely organized around the four seasons, and its images are mostly landscapes, though the built environment makes appearances -- from the busy port of Mobile to rural churches and schools to small-town streetscapes. No other Alabama picture book ranges across the entire state like this one, and Dersham's images are a visual feast. Brief captions provide location data and key facts; a few interspersed short essays offer additional background. An index links places and themes, and a photo log reveals how and when specific images were made.