Craters of the Moon Photographic Project
Craters of the Moon Photographic Project created a concise, accurate and detailed photographic survey of Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. A wide variety of photographic methods were employed including conventional film based imaging as well as the latest digital techniques. The organization of this year long effort was modeled on the photographic surveys of the post American Civil War period, in particular, the Hayden Geological Survey of what is now Yellowstone National Park. Prior to the Craters of the Moon Photographic Project, no systematic photographic documentation of that National Monument existed. Also, the recent acquisition of 700,000 additional acres has made Craters of the Moon one of the 20 largest national monuments in the United States. None of this new addition has been photographed and portions are unexplored. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is located 20 miles west of Arco, Idaho on the expansive lava fields of central Idaho. Encompassing 754,000 acres of lava fields and sagebrush steppe grasslands, it contains one 618 square mile area which is the largest young basaltic lava field in the lower 48 states. Craters of the Moon has over 25 volcanic cones and 60 distinct lava flows which are between 2000 and 15,000 years old. The flows lie along the Great Rift which contains the best examples of open rift cracks in the world. The vast majority of this monument remains remote and undeveloped with only one 10 mile paved road crossing its northern section. This project has produced a visual library of the current state of this national monument and portfolios of aesthetic images. This presentation will outline the project, showcase the images and relate this effort to the historic surveys of the 19th century American west.
Keywords: Photographic survey, Art photography, Documentary images, Wilderness images, Lava flows, Historic survey, Landscape photographs, Western U.S. photographs
Prof. Tim Frazier
Professor of Mass Communication, Department of Mass Communication, Idaho State University