Ash Ponders in The Intercept for that one time DHS made me watch them blow up something sacred and pretend it was no big deal

THE BORDER PATROL INVITED THE PRESS TO WATCH IT BLOW UP A NATIONAL MONUMENT

I got a press release saying DHS and Army Corps of Engineers were inviting press to watch them destroy Monument Hill, a sacred place to the O’odham people and the burial grounds for several Apache people. I reached out to both the photo editor at The Intercept and Ryan the writer there that I’d worked with previously. Fortunately for me, Ryan was in San Diego so it was quickly arranged. We decided to go meta and describe the event rather than just what DHS was asking us to look at.

The actual event was carefully massaged by CBP press agents to make sure their destruction seemed minor and unimpressive. Press was kept a mile away from the explosions, supposedly for our safety. I rented a 1.4 tele adapter to stretch my 200-500 and I’m glad. The explosions were tiny dots far away. 

I’m pretty happy with the tone of my images and the tenor of the article. I wish I could work with Ryan again.

Phoenix based; available for work in Latin America and the American Southwest.
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