Last summer, Brendon Burton hit the road from his home in Portland, Oregon, and wandered across the great western expanses of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Utah. In the fall, he captured misty scenes around the Pacific Northwest and then headed east to New York and West Virginia, where the trees burst with autumnal orange and red hues. Focusing his lens on abandoned structures and isolated landscapes, the photographer (previously) emphasizes the tenuousness of memory, passing time, and places left behind.
Burton’s dreamlike images are characterized by dilapidated farmhouses, empty roads, and sprawling fields, often caught in a moment of temporary transformation, like when a flock of birds interrupts the quietude of a rural road or a stormy sky releases a dramatic rainbow.
Typically devoid of people, Burton’s images are often fixed on architectural details and artifacts left by past occupants. Rather than focusing on decay, he considers what liminality, or being in-between, physically looks like as landscapes and structures metamorphose through time. The cycle of the seasons plays out in the trees surrounding an Appalachian church or the emergence of a smiley face on timber land on an Oregon hillside. Planted by a lumber company about fifteen years ago, the expressive emblem is composed of larch, which turns yellow and drops its needles each year, amid a sea of Douglas fir.
Burton continues to work toward a book of photographs, which he aims to publish later this year. Find more on his website, Behance, and Instagram.