Faith, Family, and the American Farmer

For the past year, Elliot Ross has been photographing the world of farmer Jim Mertens. Inspired by the empathetic imagery of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans for the Farm Security Administration, Ross created an essay that examines the relationship between the farmer and the land, giving both characters equal focus in “The Reckoning Days.” The grains of wheat and the cracked palms of laborers are given the same attention, depicted in a mesmerizing palette of blues and yellows. “Society is generally removed from the processes in which bread and hundreds of other products reach our baskets,” Ross said. "We must protect, nurture, and celebrate the salt of the earth.”

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Christian Palma / AP

    Hopeful Images From 2019

    I’ve made it an annual tradition to compose an essay of uplifting images from the past year—an effort to seek out and recognize some of the abundant joy and kindness present in the world around us.

  • Ng Han Guan / AP

    2019 in Photos: Wrapping Up the Year

    Time to take a look at some of the most memorable events and images of 2019. Events covered in this essay include protests in Hong Kong, Chile, and Iraq; a toxic sky over New Delhi; an all-female team of spacewalkers; and much more.

  • Cadet Hallie H. Pound / U.S. Army via AP

    2019 in Photos: A Look at the Middle Months

    Time to take a look at some of the most memorable events and images of 2019. Events covered in this essay include the Pan American Games in Peru, a spelling bee with eight co-champions, the testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Capitol Hill, and much more.

  • Joyce N. Boghosian / The White House

    2019 in Photos: How the First Months Unfolded

    Time to take a look at some of the most memorable events and images of 2019. Events covered in this essay include the abdication of Japan’s Emperor Akihito, a performance by Lil Nas X, a landing on the far side of the moon, and much more.