conserve the scenery...for the enjoyment of future generations.
In celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service and inspired by the iconic images of our national parks, I propose to capture similar vistas but through my unique pinhole camera solargraphic process. Placed outdoors for a full year, my cameras will capture the passing of time in a single image revealing the paths of the sun across the sky beyond the pristine landscape.
(see below for a Project Proposal At-A-Glance)
As a visual artist with a deep interest in history, nature, science, and education, I want to present a new way of seeing, some one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen views of these familiar park vistas.
I understand how artists, first painters and then photographers, contributed to the cause of Stephen T. Mather and Robert Sterling Yard in inspiring the creation of a truly National Park Service.
I viewed all nine pamphlets of the original 1916 National Parks Portfolio at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. This image is a view from Artist's Point in Yellowstone National Park.
I visited the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale to access an original 1916 National Parks Portfolio.
The nine pamphlets featured dozens of "views" from each of the nine select parks. These parks and "views" will be the basis for my NPS Centennial project. The parks are presented in chronological order:
The Nine Pamphlet Covers:
Still from "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," A Film By Ken Burns. Fair use for education purposes.
Incredible vistas are only part of the story of the National Park Service. These lands and waterways have given millions of people memories they cherish for a lifetime.
Included in my project will be an education and hands-on workshop component for adults and children designed to inspire visitors to create their own images. I've been teaching the basics of pinhole photography for several years. I want to share the process of solargraphy with park visitors to give them a new way to capture views that have deep personal meaning for them.
Of course, today, the National Park Service includes far more than these nine historic parks. This is a truly ambitious project, but I am open to the possibilities of imaging as many of these parks and historic locations as I can before the end of 2016.
My National Park Service Centennial Project Proposal At-A-Glance
Select National Parks for pinhole camera installation in consultation with NPS
Select iconic and practical views within these parks based on my research and in consultation with NPS
Handbuild pinhole cameras sufficient to meet needs
Install cameras and document installation
Provide hands-on workshops for park visitors
Re-visit installations and de-install
For a better understanding of how the process works, please visit my Solargraphy page (currently being edited)
Yellowstone National Park poster image from the Library of Congress digital collection.