Book review: 'Yellowstone Yesterday and Today' explores national park with photos
Paul Horsted, www.dakotaphoto.com
"YELLOWSTONE YESTERDAY AND TODAY," by Paul Horsted with Bob Berry, Golden Valley Press, $45, 160 pages (nf)
Visitors exploring Yellowstone National Park are treated to discoveries around every corner. With a constantly changing landscape and diverse ecosystems Yellowstone is a wonder. In “Yellowstone Yesterday and Today,” Paul Horsted, along with Bob Berry, create a book that matches the surprises and delights of exploring the trails and paths of the park.
Horsted set out to research old photographs of Yellowstone and then tried to re-create the shots as closely as possible. He found ample help from Berry, who owns one of the foremost collections of historical Yellowstone photographs taken between 1871 and 1930. Berry is also a long-time park guide and helped Horsted find many of the places shown in the earlier photos.
Each page shows the early picture side by side with the more recent picture. It is amazing to see how much things have changed and how much they have stayed the same. As closely as he could, Horsted tried to shoot his photos from the same vantage point as the original photographer. Some places were more challenging than others due to changes in the landscape or more restrictions on how close visitors can approach some of the features. In the pages featuring the Old Faithful geyser it is clear that early park tourists could get a lot closer than anyone can today.
Field notes featured throughout the book provide added insight into the process Horsted went through to get just the right shot. Some of the notes point out details of the changes in formations and vegetation that have taken place over the years.
One of the pictures, taken at Yellowstone Lake in 1890 near Fishing Cone, shows two fishermen getting ready to cook their fish in the hot spring cone. Horsted says visitors at one time used the cone to cook fresh-caught fish, “by dipping them into the heated water.” He goes on to explain, “Fishing is now prohibited in this area, as is cooking fish in the cone.”
Horsted, who lives in Custer, S.D., has written and photographed similar books for the Black Hills including “The Black Hills Yesterday and Today” and “ Crossing the Plains with Custer.”
“Yellowstone Yesterday and Today” is a family-friendly oversized book. It is a great way to explore Yellowstone and learn some of its history. The book design makes it easy for a reader to study each picture and compare the shots while enjoying the beauty and grandeur of the country’s first national park.
After attending BYU and the University of Utah for five years and not being able to settle on just one major, Connie Lewis decided to be a writer so she could keep studying all things wonderful and new.
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