Photographing Wyoming Prairies

A review of ‘Wyoming Grasslands.’

  • William S. Sutton
  • William S. Sutton
  • William S. Sutton
 

Wyoming Grasslands
Michael P. Berman, William S. Sutton, Frank H. Goodyear Jr., and Charles R. Preston
232 pages,
hardcover: $39.95.
University of Oklahoma Press, 2015.

In 2012, Michael Berman and William Sutton set out to photograph the prairies of Wyoming as part of a collaborative project between The Nature Conservancy and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Wyoming Grasslands, the culmination of the project, echoes the tradition and style of late-19th century photographers in revealing the grandeur of the barren and yet surprisingly productive landscapes of the state. Black-and-white and color photographs offer close-up views of delicately textured grasses as well as sweeping panoramas of prairie speckled only by hay bales and a few cattle. Accompanying essays by Frank Goodyear and Charles Preston give context to the artistic and natural history of the American West, illuminating the area’s ecological diversity and the influence it once had – and still does – on photographers with a sensitive eye for this region’s unique wild beauty.