National parks are having a moment. With the National Parks Service’s hundredth anniversary this year, the parks have been the focus of national media campaigns, news coverage, presidential visits, and social media strategies encouraging you to #FindYourPark. Often, and rightly so, the depiction of parks is adventure-filled and awe-inspiring. But Joshua Haunschild’s photos of national parks, monuments, and nature parks are not quite like that.
“I believe in creating images that are quizzical and express the ineffable,” he says. Haunschild’s pictures are quietly odd. He seeks out the quirky junctures where human activity meets the natural world—including restrooms right along with mountain ranges. All of his images show signs of a human presence, but few of them feature actual human beings, as if you showed up right after all the crowds had gone.
“Throughout this project I have taken images with and without people,” he says, “but [I] almost always find the images sans people convey a stronger message about our use of public lands. If a person is in the shot they too often become the focal point. This project is unabashedly about the land and our use of it. I want to show the human footprint.”