Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho, USA by David Hunter

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Picture Story

In the Summer of 2019, I was accepted for a two week photographic artist-in-residence at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in south central Idaho, USA. The park itself is the remnants of a dormant volcanic flow with the most recent activity taking place 2100 years ago and the volcanic flow area is roughly the size of the state of Rhode Island. It is one of the world’s best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States. Most of the lava flow emerged from a giant rift in the ground as opposed to a large volcano.

The second day of my residency I woke up early to try and catch sunrise. I drove from the park housing the short distance to the North Crater Flow Trail that features a few spatter cones and volcanic craters from the parks most recent active lava flow 2100 years ago. As I hiked up the trail, I quickly realized that my planned composition with the grand landscape of the North Crater and sunrise wasn’t going to work as planned because of some interference with the sunrise from the high point of the crater. I started looking around for a different composition and noticed a section of the crater that would make a nice detail shot. As I set up the shot I became more and more attracted to the simplicity and the structure allowing the eye to flow back and forth. I was also attracted to the few limber pine trees that provided the pop of color against the mixed dark colors of the landscape.

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