New work: John Midgley shoots at the Salton Sea for 125 magazine

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The new issue of 125, a twice-yearly London-based specialty photo magazine, centers on a really big theme—specifically, America—and features a story shot by John at the Salton Sea in California.
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All photos by John Midgley.

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“America to me meant settlers in a foreign land,” John explains. “I myself am a European transplant, and I’m curious about this vast and beautiful country—a feeling that I realize is not far off from what the early settlers must have felt.

“My wife and I had gone to Palm Springs recently,” he continues, “and on our way back from a visit to Joshua Tree, I could see an enormous lake way off in the distance, shimmering in the desert. It was the Salton Sea, a body of water with a complicated history. As you drive around the lake, there are abandoned resorts and trailer parks covered in salt from a previous flood, slowly decaying. It is at once apocalyptic and extremely beautiful. The light is unbelievably beautiful too. It seemed to be the perfect setting for my journey into America’s past.”

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Examples of the visual references that John collected while researching his concept.

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The “America” issue of 125 also includes contributions by Alyson Aliano, Barrie Hullegie, Deirdre O’Callaghan, Derrick Santini, Drew Jarrett, Gitte Meldgarde, Jamie Smith, Jason Hetherington, John Gripenholm, Max Oppenheim, Paul Farrell, Paul Vickery, Perry Curties, Rankin, Simon Mills, Steve Harries, Taki Bibelas, Tim Richmond, Valerie Philips, and Yossi Michaeli.

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