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for people who care about the West

Beautiful yet harrowing photos of urban sprawl

Review of ‘Lake Las Vegas/Black Mountain’ by Michael Light.


Lake Las Vegas/Black Mountain
Michael Light
136 pages, hardcover: $60.
Radius Books, 2014.

San Francisco photographer Michael Light focuses on the Western landscape and its transformation by modern American culture. The third book in a multi-volume series of aerial photographs, Some Dry Space: An Inhabited West, Lake Las Vegas/Black Mountain is a beautiful yet harrowing look at urban sprawl and whittled-down desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada.

Light, who is also a pilot, took to the skies in 2010 to study two developments that were temporarily stalled by the real estate decline. Taken during early morning and late afternoon to capture maximum “three-dimensionality,” Light’s photos make space appear vast and surreal. Captivating and vulgar, elegant and raw, these images remind us what it means to live in a constantly changing West.