November 6, 2009

Fairplay-area resident publishes South Park photo book
To be "great asset" in promoting area

By Debra Orecchio
Correspondent

A dream of three years in the making is coming true for South Park resident Bernie Nagy

He’s self-published his first book, Colorado’s South Park: High Country Paradise, which is what he’s termed a photo travel essay book.

Nagy’s been sitting on pins and needles waiting for the first advance copies of the book, which just recently arrived. The book looks better than he expected, he said in an e-mail.

The Author Bernie Nagy has been trying to capture the essence of South Park through the lenses of his camera for the past three years. (Courtesy Photo)

Nagy wanted to do something different from other books on the market. While many great books have been written about the history of South Park, there weren’t any books showing the real beauty of the area, he said.

Nagy’s been a resident of Park County for six years, and he has learned a lot about the history of the area while volunteering at the South Park City Museum. He wanted to see more of it, but he couldn’t find a photo book, so he started taking pictures.

The book is a collection of the best of three years of photos Nagy has taken throughout the different seasons in South Park. He pulled the photos for the book from more than 8,000 he had taken during those three years on many hikes and four-wheel-drive trips during the morning and afternoon hours. One of his biggest challenges was deciding which photos would make it into the book; he just had too many to choose from. Some of his real favorites didn’t make it in, he said. But he wanted to show the diverse and "real" South Park.

The photos Nagy put in the book show the towns, the mountain ranges and passes, and the rivers and lakes all around the South Park area.

But the book is not just photos. Nagy included the rich history of the South Park area, like the mining and railroading. He also captured some of the most important community events, including the World Championship Pack Burro Race, the Pack/Walk Llama Race, the South Park Ranch Rodeo, the Park County Fair and Boreas Pass Railroad Day.

Gary Nichols, director of tourism and community development for Park County, said that he thinks the book will be a great asset for promoting the area.

"He’s definitely captured the essence of certain seasons and attributes very well in his photography," Nichols said of Nagy.

Nagy photographed the amazing colors in the wildflowers throughout South Park, as well as the many wild animals that roam the area, including moose, buffalo, pronghorn, wild burros, smaller creatures and birds.

Watercolor paintings and a few photos by Nagy’s wife, Linda, are also in the book.

Carol Davis, the curator for the South Park City Museum, said she hasn’t seen a copy of the finished book, but she has seen some of the proofs before the book went to the printer, and she thinks the book will be fantastic.

"It has so much of the things in the county that a lot of people are never going to see because they’re not willing to climb that far or drive that far," Davis said.

Nagy is hoping to have a good response to his first publication. He already has orders coming in from all over the country, he said. He’s anxiously awaiting when he can display it to the local public.

Nichols also hopes that Nagy’s successful with the book. He thinks it will be a good coffee table book that people will be happy to have as a reference, especially for people who come to visit the South Park area.

Davis agreed that it’s going to be a great coffee table book. The museum will be selling copies of the book; she hopes everybody buys one.

Nagy’s first book signing will be at The Flume’s Holiday Extravaganza at Fitzsimmons Middle School on November 21 and 22.

A copy of the book can be purchased through Nagy’s Web site at www.highcountryartworks.com.

Note: Flume editor Tom Locke helped with proofreading Nagy’s book.