In celebration of LSUP’s 80th anniversary the staff selected 80 of our most memorable titles. Adding to our “Around the Press in 80 Books” blog series, Assistant Production Manager and Designer Amanda Scallan writes about C. C. Lockwood’s Atchafalaya.
C. C. Lockwood had already made a name for himself by the time I began my book-designing career at LSU Press. I knew his work and remember the first time I browsed through Discovering Louisiana. I was amazed by and enamored with the beauty of Louisiana he captured on film. You see, I’m a Georgia transplant, but I have lived in Louisiana most of my adult life. I was thrilled to move here and make it my home. Growing up in Athens, Georgia, I remember thinking Louisiana must be a romantic place to live. There is something about the big open sky, the endless water ways, the cypress trees, the moss, the lazy Mississippi River, the old plantations, the history, and the swamps. Yes, the swamps. I have always been curious about swamps. Flora and water create a unique world where wildlife of all varieties live together—creatures flying in the air, moving on the ground, or swimming in the water. Even more unusual to me were the people that have made their living in the swamp for generations. I was intrigued, and I wanted to see more of all of this.
So imagine my joy when the opportunity arose to design a book by C. C. Lockwood overflowing with his Atchafalaya photographs. A book that would reveal the timeless beauty of a very special place I had yet to explore. Not many people have had an opportunity to see and experience deep inside a true Louisiana swamp, especially the Atchafalaya Basin, which is located in south-central Louisiana and is America’s largest swamp wilderness.
C. C. has explored the Atchafalaya for more than thirty years. The images he provided for this project were dazzling and breathtaking. He captured the varying moods of the swamp through the seasons, not to mention the unforgettable sunsets. In C.C. Lockwood’s Atchafalaya he reflects on the places he enjoys to visit most and recounts his conversations with the Basin’s inhabitants about the changes that have occurred over time—both the good and the bad. The photographs we chose for the book are so vivid you can almost feel the warmth of the sunsets, watch a great egret carefully preen its breeding plumage, and smell the spice of boiled crabs. After working closely with C.C. on this project I came away with a new respect, appreciation, and deeper love for this special untamed wilderness. With his artistic photography, I have a little more insight into what’s behind the moss-covered cypress trees I see from I-10.
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