Paul V. Chaplo, M.F.A. works as a professional photographer specializing in corporate and architectural photography. In addition to completing decades of assignments for companies such as Bausch & Lomb, TXI, and BNSF Railway, his fine art photography has been exhibited in museums around the country, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and several Texas museums. He is also the author of Marfa Flights: Aerial Views of Big Bend Country. Chaplo earned his Master of Fine Arts Degree in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, New York, where he was the American Video Institute Graduate Fellow. He also provides large-format film HABS/HAER/HALS photography for historic preservation. Working with the railroads and US Army Corp of Engineers, Paul was responsible for the HAER photographic documentation of the two-mile-long Bonnet Carre Spillway Railroad Bridge at the edge of Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, working by hi-rail and airboat. Chaplo spends much of his time wearing a hardhat in the Permian Basin, photographing for oil and gas companies. He is currently collaborating with T. Lindsay Baker on a book documenting the historic buildings and structures of Glen Rose, Texas. Paul and his wife Cynthia live in Fort Worth with their faithful Shetland sheepdog.
After the success of his 2014 Marfa Flights: Aerial Views of Big Bend Country, Paul Chaplo has given us another visual and textual volume that is sure to delight and interest all readers who seek to know more about the beauty and history of the Llano Estacado. Working with his wife, Cynthia, throughout this impressive project, as well as with seven pilots, and nine aircraft, Chaplo and his team covered over forty thousand square miles in every possible kind of weather, flying over plains and playas and diving into canyons and river bottoms. Chaplo is known for the beauty of his photographic work, and this book adds to that reputation with his complex portrayals of the land and peoples. A valuable and fascinating history accompanies this personal journey. The book, like the region, is filled with “turbulent air and history.”
Readers will find excellent Texas art history background in Walt Davis's reviews of previous portraits of the land, from Louise Daniel to Wyman Meinzer and Frank Reaugh. Such commentary on previous photographic and artistic histories of western landscapes lends a fine context to Amarillo Flights and situates the work in a larger conversation.
Working in “the vast three-dimensional studio of the sky,” aerial photographer Chaplo has battled high winds, turbulence, dust, ice, near-miss bird strikes, wildfire smoke, and a host of aircraft problems to show the Llano Country from the air. He explores the incredible beauty and rich cultural history of the Panhandle and the surrounding landscapes, from Horsehead Crossing to the canyons of Texas and New Mexico, Fort Bascom site, Chavez City Ruins, Puerto de los Rivajeños, 1874 Adobe Walls Battlefield, and the Antelope Hills in Oklahoma—to name a few.
“In Amarillo Flights, Paul Chaplo from high above the land has brilliantly photographed the Llano Estacado’s vastness, its magnificent canyonlands, and its historic sites from new and wonderous perspectives. It is a marvelous book of history and photography.”— Paul H. Carlson
“The Llano Estacado, near level and treeless, has escarpments on three sides in the states of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Paul Chaplo’s photographs encompass not merely the three eroded edges of the plains but also the immensity of the flatness that they surround. This comprehensive panorama of the Southern Great Plains from above is unequaled in the work of his predecessors.”— T. Lindsay Baker