July 22, 2022
Best of the Week — First Winner
A ‘graveyard’: Distinctive images capture the impact of major drought on Nevada’s Lake Mead
Las Vegas-based photographer John Locher has seen no shortage of drought in his years covering the Southwest desert. But this year felt different, particularly when it came to Lake Mead, a popular tourist destination and important source of water, where levels have plummeted.
Over the course of several weeks, he made repeat visits to the lake, talking to people on beached boats, exploring different areas and running down visual leads he found on social media.
Little by little, a theme began to emerge: The receding body of water had effectively exposed a graveyard, not just of sunken boats, but also of wildlife. Locher captured this in a unique visual essay used widely and prominently by AP members and customers across the country.
For persistence, creativity and shoe-leather reporting to reveal in striking images the precipitous decline of Lake Mead, Locher earns AP’s Best of the Week — First Winner.