The big picture

  • VAST SCALE: Round Mountain Mine, Nye County, Nevada

    F.E. Bill DuBois photo
  -These photos are a stop-gap look at a point in time, a chance to see what the landscape looked like six or 10 years ago."

*Bill DuBois

From the pilot's seat of his 44-year-old Cessna 180 plane, F.E. Bill DuBois has been taking photos of every precious metal mine in Nevada for 24 years. What began as a tool for observing how other mine managers lay out mine property has grown into a collection of 3,000 photos - a visual history of Nevada mining. DuBois is aware of the irony of his place behind the lens. "(Mining) has been my profession for nearly half of a century," he says, "but on the other hand, everyone hates to see the land scarred." Every American uses an average of 40,000 pounds of minerals per year; DuBois says it's important for people to understand where this resource originates. "I try to show a little sliver of the horizon, behind the mine in the forefront, so that you can see the big picture," he says. An exhibition of DuBois' photographs will be held at California's Center for Land Use Interpretation continues through April 20. For more information, write to the center at 9331 Venice Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, or call 310/839-5722.

*Rebecca Clarren
High Country News Classifieds