Photographer Erik Almås has started a personal project called “Land Surveyors,” capturing a narrative of two explorers setting out to map the west in the late 19th century. By compositing images of New Mexico’s endless sky with period props and costumes, Erik’s cinematic storytelling creates a historically accurate tale of a surveyor and his assistant.
A commercial assignment brought him to Shiprock, New Mexico, and sparked the idea for the project. “As I flew over this amazing landscape I couldn’t stop thinking about the opening scene of the movie ‘The English Patient.’ The land surveyor series was already concepted and I decided to have this be my first location in the series.
Erik sees a lot of metaphors in surveying the land. “These early surveyors were exploring new territories and frontiers but at the same time aligning and dividing where it prior had no boundaries. The idea was to have one older land surveyor as the mentor and a younger as the apprentice. I love the idea of measuring things and how we increasingly measure and compare ourselves to others and the relationship between the two will be a part of this.”
The series with the land surveyors will be an ongoing project where he will take these characters to different locations and explore not only the places but also the people.