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Know the West

Belonging to the West

  -My pictures concentrate on landscapes that lie between the extremes of wilderness and metropolis."

* Eric Paddock

I moved to the West because of spectacle: the mountains, their streams, the canyons those streams cut, the summer flowers in high meadows. I stayed because of the landscapes Eric Paddock shows in Belonging to the West - what the book jacket calls "67 full-color photographs." Technically, they are "full color," but the subject matter - sage flats, mining towns whose tiny houses are perched on switchbacks, trailer parks, eroding gullies - bleaches the color out of them. These photos make my teeth ache with a hunger that is inexplicable and irrational. When these scenes vanish from the West, when it becomes "full color" everywhere and not just in the ski towns and the discovered villages, then the West will no longer be worth living in, any more than Disneyland is worth living in.

Eric Paddock is curator of photography at the Colorado Historical Society in Denver; his book is published by Johns Hopkins University Press, 2715 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218. $49.95 cloth, $29.95 paper, 109 pages, 66 color photos.

* Ed Marston

Moffat County,

Colorado (top) and

Penrose, Colorado. Phots

by Eric Paddock.