“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer, and give strength to body and soul alike. This natural beauty-hunger is made manifest… in our magnificent national parks – Nature’s sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world.” – JOHN MUIR – (from The National Parks: America’s Best Idea by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns)
It’s hard to put my recent visits to the national parks of the West into a coherent and relevant presentation when there are so many intertwining elements to talk about – the landscapes, the wildlife, the vegetation, and the people in their struggle over these breathtaking and awe-inspiring geological and biological wonders – some to exploit, some to possess and some to preserve. So perhaps to start my journey according to the inception of each park makes the most sense; therefore, we are starting with Yellowstone National Park – the first national park in America and in the world. Notwithstanding adamant conservation efforts, the existence of national parks in the U.S. and everywhere in the world is constantly being threatened on a daily basis, so above all sentiments, I feel eternally indebted to those who had made national parks a reality and to those who continue to work hard to make sure that the legacy is passed on to our children and grandchildren.
Yellowstone Fast Facts: – Established in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant (even though the concept of national parks originated in 1864 when President Lincoln set aside Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias as a public trust to preserve the land for future generations); – The landscape has been shaped by numerous volcanic eruptions dated back as far as two million years ago; – Yellowstone National Park span across 3,472 square miles (8,987 square km) and three states, i.e. Wyoming, Montana and Idaho; – Yellowstone contains approximately one-half of the world’s hydrothermal features. There are over 10,000 hydrothermal features, including over 300 geysers, in the park – About 30 some per cent of the park was destroyed in the great fire of 1988.
Somehow, in my mind, black and white photography is synonymous with American Landscape. Black and white photos always give me a sense of sweet nostalgia and I hope my mediocre skills allow me to express that feeling while doing the scene enough justice. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. These few photos were taken during my recent road trip.