“The Amazing Kolb Brothers of Grand Canyon,” by Roger Naylor.

“Photographers Ellsworth and Emery Kolb were daredevil adventurers … equal parts artist and athlete, a dizzying combination that pushed them toward increasingly creative ways to risk their necks.”

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The Kolbs took hand-tinted lantern slides, like this one, on a traveling lecture series early in their career. This and all other photos are courtesy of Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library’s Kolb Collection, unless otherwise noted.

The Amazing Kolb Brothers of Grand Canyon

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The Kolbs would go to extreme lengths to get the photo they wanted.
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A typical early photo of tourists roughing it on mules. From the private collection of the author.
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Scenic photos from deep in the canyon’s depths were the brothers’ stock in trade.
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In 1911–12, the Kolbs made an epic river trip, becoming two of the first white men to navigate the treacherous Colorado River through the Canyon.
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In 1930, the brothers tracked the source of the Canyon’s highest waterfall — a jaunt requiring some acrobatics from Emery, who had just become a grandfather.
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The Kolb brothers’ studio today, courtesy of the National Park Service.
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A leap in the interest of art.
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Showers drench the distant North Rim, with Garden Creek just below.
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