You might be aware that a government job opening stirred up a whole lot of interest recently around the photographic wens and warrens of the World Wide Web. One full-time job with an annual salary range of $63,722 to $99,296 (!) was offered by the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The notice read, in part:
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.
That's right: they wanted someone to take landscapes with a view camera in the National Parks, full-time, for good money. Good money they'd pay you, that is, not the other way around as most of us practice photography.
Another unsung hero
I'm not saying it's exactly the same job, but there's a new book just out from the University of Georgia Press about a fellow who did more or less that job. It's called Landscapes for the People: George Alexander Grant, First Chief Photographer of the National Park Service. George A. Grant was a Pennsylvanian who fell in love with the West after being assigned to Fort Russell in Wyoming during WWI. Although he took between 30,000 and 40,000 images over a 25+ year career and millions of people saw them, most of his pictures were credited to "National Park Service" and few people ever knew George's name.
Other National Park Service photographers included Jack Boucher, Arno B. Cammerer, and Abbie Rowe. Their photographs along with some of George A. Grant's can also be seen (in JPEGs that are unfortunately rather crabbed and small) at the National Park Service's Historic Photos Collection.
(Thanks to Stuart Klipper via Ctein and many, many tipsters about the Park Service job opening)
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Bill Wheeler: "Beautiful reproductions in Landscapes for the People."
Chuck Albertson: "Note that, as a government employee, you would not have copyright to anything you shot on the job."