Blogs > Cliopatria > shoot it again, sam

Aug 19, 2005 8:14 am

shoot it again, sam

Third View: A Rephotographic Survey of the American West shows photographs of the same place in the American West,"made from the originals' vantage point with as much precision as possible," decades or a century apart. (via eb).

The West of"Third View" is emphatically the landscape West of the TR-style conservationists' imagination. The same goes for the West's quarters, by the way: Nevada has wild horses and mountains; North Dakota has bison and mountains; California has a condor and mountains (and John Muir); Colorado has mountains, period. Not a mine, ranch, railroad, or -- God forbid -- a city in sight.

Yet, you know, you could have done fascinating rephotography in Western cities just in the last decade. When I first moved to Reno, you could sip espresso at the Barnes and Noble and look across the street at grazing cattle; it represented a new kind of frontier. During the time I lived there you could see the subdivisions and shopping malls advance daily -- eat your heart out, Frederick Jackson Turner. Maybe the rephotographers could consider fast-growing Western cities their next agenda item. But the meditative exhibit has some wonderful images as it is.

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Eric Rauchway - 8/23/2005

Yes, I'd noticed that too. This is certainly in keeping with what you hear about the West. But I can't put my finger on a scholarly source just at the moment.

John H. Lederer - 8/22/2005

The most visible chnage that I noted, aside from pictures of urban areas, was the increase in vegetation -- trees, bushes, etc.

This seems counterintuitive. Is this the result of increased fire fighting? A moister period? Something else?