Earlier this week, the U.S. National Parks Service posted a job listing looking for a photographer to take large-format documentary photographs of America’s National Parks. In addition to extensive travel and a hefty salary (up to $99,296!) the position will require knowledge of film professing, something that is becoming increasingly rare for those studying photography.
The basic duties for the position are as follows:
Produces large-format photographic documentation to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the HABS/HAER/HALS permanent collection at the Library of Congress. Develops photographic guidelines and standards for traditional and born-digital photographic processes and products. Produces exhibition quality prints for exhibition, publication, or other visual purposes. Evaluates submissions and provides advice and assistance concerning production of photographic documentation for donations to the collection or for mitigation purposes. Makes presentations about the collection or the programs to various public and private groups.
Of course, this is not the first time a photographer has ventured into America’s parks. In the early to mid-1900s, Ansel Adams traveled throughout the West and captured iconic images of Yosemite National Park, the Grand Canyon, and other landmarks. So, why is the government bringing back this tradition now? Maybe they think large-format photography will shed light on environmental changes in the parks. Or, possibly, the Library of Congress just really needs some updated pictures.
Either way, you should apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity NOW, because the deadline is Tuesday, December 15th. If you need some inspiration, head over to the Tyler Museum of Art to see the exhibition Ansel Adams: Early Works.
I can’t think of any photography job that’s received this much viral press at anytime. Everyone is posting to their friends who are on instagram or are fledgling photographers, to apply. Having been fully involved in the photography world for 40 odd years, I can think of maybe 2 people I know who are truly qualified for this position. They are both well known Black and White landscape masters, who have spent their lifetimes perfecting the large format craft, and as such, probably don’t have the knees’s for the position any longer. Yes, I know more than a few who could get up to snuff, given enough time, but they don’t deserve the job. To know that much about the medium is not unlike being damn good at rocket science. In fact, one of the folks I’m thinking of IS a rocket scientist. I hope the job goes to some long suffering apprentice, who never compromised their love of this particular vision of the American Landscape, and will have the honor and time to pour their heart into it.