Lands of wind, fire and solitude


In 1432, the Portuguese landed on the coast of Santa Maria with a vessel commanded by Gonzalo Velho, one of Henry the Navigator’s most faithful explorers. Gaspar Frutuoso, a priest and ship’s rubricist, was the first to record his impressions. In his notebook, he described that raw, uninhabited, and raptor-dominated place as “lands of wind, fire and solitude.”

I visited the Azores on three separate trips, two years apart. I scoured them far and wide, photographed their rugged recesses and grassy hills, recording stories like a chronicler, filming not the people I heard from but what their gazes rested on.