The Fortieth Parallel

North America's bisecting line of latitude captured by photographer Bruce Myren's large-format Deardorff camera


Massachusetts-based photographer Bruce Myren is a man with a camera, on a mission to capture the many faces of North America’s 40th parallel. Stretching East to West from New Jersey to California and crossing 11 states in between, the 40th degree of latitude bisects the United States and is reckoned to have played an integral role in the westward flow of early settlers, as well as being the subject of Timothy O’Sullivan 1860’s “Kings Survey.” Using a single large-format Deadorff camera, Myren aims to shoot a single panorama—made of three 8×10 color photographs—at each of 52 locations at which a whole degree of longitude crosses the 40th parallel.


Each point, lying 53 miles from its predecessor and covering just 20 square-feet of ground shows the gradual geographical progression from the West’s steep mountains to the Midwest’s rolling hills and finally to the East’s beautiful beaches. Funded through a Kickstarter campaign earlier this past summer, Myren has already successfully documented 28 of 52 locales, with the remainder to be photographed in the months to come.


For a closer look at The Fortieth Parallel check out Petapixel’s visually informative story, and check up on the project’s status through Myren’s personal website.