A Wanderer's View of America: Snapshots of 64 Columbias in 45 States

If you grew up in the United States, you probably know a Columbia: a town, a street, a river. The poetic nickname is woven into the country's history, symbolizing liberty and union. In fact, before the "The Star Spangled Banner," there was "Hail Columbia," paean to a "happy land."

Nearly a decade ago, photographer Francis Smith had the idea to capture scenes from different Columbias across the country. On and off, through road trips and hotel stays, he worked on the project. Then, in 2015, he had a moment of clarity.

"I said to myself, 'What am I doing? I need to get this thing finished,'" Smith says. He bought a minivan, outfitted it with a mattress and his camera equipment, and set off for months at a time.

The result is America by Another Name, his chronicle of a journey across 64 Columbias in 45 states… and counting. Looking down the road, Smith plans both a photo book and a 2020 multimedia show "where I can stretch out and tell what I've learned about American culture today."

District of Columbia, July 4, 2014
Columbia, Tennessee, April 3, 2014
M/V Columbia, Alaska, June 20, 2015
District of Columbia, June 7, 2014
Columbia, Alabama, October 17, 2012
Columbia, Iowa, February 1, 2016
Columbia Basin, September 17, 2015
Columbia, California, October 24, 2015
Columbia River, August 27, 2015
District of Columbia, July 4, 2014
The Man Behind the Camera