The Life of The Grand Canyon Through Photographs
By Rebecca Senf, Stephen Pyne, Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe
University of California Press, $75.00, 208 pages
Photography has the power to inform and inspire generations of Americans. This power can be used to bring nature to life, helping a person feel closer to something that is so massive that it boggles the mind. It also has the power to preserve a landmark, by helping people see it who might not have a chance to visit it in person. With the Grand Canyon, photography helped take an often ignored part of the country, and make it into something more; a part of the American narrative.
With this project the authors took on the difficult task of exploring the past with the present at the same time. By using photos from the past, finding the location, taking an new, original photo, and then stitching the images together, a narrative develops that stretches through both time and space. This narrative technique brings to life the development our culture, and shows how we made something natural into something cultural.
The photographs are impressive, and the ability to stitch the old with the new gives each piece a new meaning. Images juxtapose each other, giving a voice to the past by placing it beside the modern. While certain scenes might not have changed much, other parts of the Grand Canyon have, and it’s majesty inspires visitors to this day.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter