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Historical / Archeological Photography

Abilene - Midland - Lubbock Texas

That shack is historic?
Sure is. And its sitting in the middle of your ROW. 

If it needs mitigation as a historic resource, the requirements typically require a technical type of photography with materials and processes to produce a permanent record.

Such projects often fall under the Heritage Documentation Project (HDP) of the National Park Service (NPS), even if the site is not in a National Park. The historic site could simply be an old house, bridge, or a field. Chaplo can help with archival large format
photography that meets federal specifications, and state specifications such as those of the Texas Historic Commission (THC). 

Capabilities: we can photograph for the following:
- HABS : Historic American Building Survey 

- HAER : Historic American Engineering Record 

- HALS : Historic American Landscape
Yep, even the landscape can be historic -- go figure. For example, your pipeline or well location might be the site of a battle that happened in the 1800s.

In what situations might the need for HABS photography be encountered? 
- Pipeline right of ways (ROWs)
- Railroad extension or expansion
- Road construction
- Oil gas well location
- Replacement of existing bridge or structure
- Dirt work, excavation, or mobilization of heavy equipment that will impact a site.

What is the main requirements for this type of photography?
The main requirements are:
- Precise record keeping and documentation
- Large format black and white film (digital not allowed)
- Archival processing of film to ensure permanence.
Also, labeled prints called photo cards must accompany the submission package, but the main record is the processed film.

The photographic documentation for this work is some of the most technical and documentation-intensive in the world. "H3" photography has us hauling around a massive camera that looks like something that Ansel Adams would use. It shoots single sheets of 4x5 inch black & white film that must be processed to last hundreds of years. The federal office that accepts the submission will test our film for permanence and a copy often goes into the national archive and Library of Congress.

The pictures are accompanied by prints and everything is recorded, labeled, and submitted to the Heritage Documentation Process which is part of the National Park Service. A copy of the documentation typically goes into the Library of Congress. In some cases, a "light" version can be submitted to the state agency such as the New Mexico or Texas Historical Commission.

Why does HABS HAER HALS require film photography rather than digital?
The Heritage Documentation Project, administered by the National Park Service, has determined that the most reliable, permanent visual record is large format black and white film that is specially processed to clear all chemical residue. In fact, film has been determined to be more archival and accessible, even during changes of technology, than any digital record. 

What is large format film?
Large format film is sheet film that is 4x5 inches in size or larger. Other sizes include 5x7" and 8x10". The smallest and most commonly used film size is 4x5". The film is loaded into sheet film holders, then placed into the camera to be exposed one shot at a time. The process is time-consuming. It can easily take 20-45 minutes to setup and take one view with care.

What else is needed from the photographer?

The large format film must be labeled by writing on the film with an identifier and view number. Also, careful field records must be kept and then used by the architectural historian or archaeologist to incorporate into their report. 

Whether your project is near Midland, Odessa, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, San Angelo, El Paso, TX, Carlsbad, Hobbs, Portales, Almagordo, NM, or anywhere in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico, Chaplo has you covered with historical preservation HABS, HAER, and HALS photography.

Are you doing a railroad project? We have certifications for roadway worker, eRailsafe, on-track work, and bridge work. We have worked in conjunction with the US Army Corp of Engineers and major railroads. In addition, we document old homes and structures that lay in right-of-ways for rail line expansion to preserve resources for posterity in archival photography before they are demolished.

Archival mages for historic preservation designed to stand the test of time. HABS - HAER  - HALS photography by Chaplo. Meets specifications for Federal programs administered by the Heritge Documentation Program (HDP) and the National Park Service (NPS).

Need some help? Call or email Paul now:


mobile: 972-898-6969

Gallery: HABS HAER HALS Large Format Photography  PHOTOS: ©Paul Chaplo

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