Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Parkway Motel

I'm in the midst of packing and getting ready to move, but I'm taking a break to look back through some of the images I've made in my project so far. I like to look through them real quickly the first time I scan them, then I'll come back to them a few days later, and so on all the way through the project. It helps me to discover things I may have missed the first time around. It also helps me to see where I'm headed and what I should work on. Sometimes I'll have a greater appreciation for an image I didn't like at first.

As I continue to look back over my work, images that I continue to like (such as this one) and that have received positive feedback from others have a greater chance of being part of the final group. As I've shown my work from this project to three photographers with differing styles, they have all picked this one as one of the stronger images. What do you think? I love that they're advertising "Color T-V"!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Red, White, & Blue

I spotted this old trailer in Butte and was intrigued enough by the composition I saw in my mind to stop. I just loved the way all the horizontals just seemed to line up and also the detail the tire tracks added.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Flag Disposal?

As I continue to photograph for my "American vernacular"/"Americana" project, I find myself still drawn to the way Americans show patriotism through the display of our colors and our flag. As a junior high student, I had the job of raising and lowering the flags before and after school since I was a member of the crossing guard. Since we had the responsibility of handling the flag twice per day, proper flag etiquette was drilled into our brains: the flag must never touch the ground, it must be lit if displayed at night, it must be properly folded in order to be stored, a ripped or otherwise imperfect flag must be replaced, flags that can no longer be used must be destroyed by burning. These rules of etiquette play through my mind as I come across varying displays of the flag. This "flag disposal" receptacle is the first I've ever seen. After a tiny bit of research, I discovered that you can apparently take old flags to the American Legion for disposal if you prefer to do that rather than burning them.

I'm also really attracted to things that have a nostalgic feel, such as this building with the "Eddy's Bread" sign painting. It seems like a large majority of things I'm photographing are signs, such as in these two images:

These two images still have strong color relationships and still include red, white, and blue. I'll have to wait and see if that theme continues in all of my images.

This project has been a lot of fun for me so far. It's a totally different type of photography than my previous two projects (Forever Families and Suicide Survivors), but it's a great change of pace for me. I kind of like the idea of heading out on a scavenger hunt to see what I can find, what draws my attention, and the shape that this project will eventually take. Thanks for reading and checking out my work!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A New Year...A New Project! has been quite a long time since my last blog post. That was partially on purpose. I wanted to give everyone who attended the exhibit for my Suicide in Montana project an opportunity to hear all of the audio clips from the suicide survivors in the project (they start below this post). Since I feel it's been plenty of time, I hope to get back to regular updates on my work.

My current project is focused around the idea of "Americana" and many of the unique things about American culture in general. The project is pretty widely defined right now but I know the idea will narrow as I continue to work. I feel like the project itself will be largely defined by what I come across as I'm out photographing. I have some trips planned in the coming weeks that I think will add a lot to the body of work.

As I'm out looking around for things that feel "uniquely American" to me, I have found that so far I have been attracted to things that have a nostalgic feel to them as well as the colors red, white, and blue. I'm also interested in ways that people express their patriotism. I don't anticipate that every image that makes the final cut will include a flag or patriotic colors, but here are a few things I've come across so far - I'm sure it's just the tip of the iceberg! I'd love to hear what you think and thanks for stopping by!

All images photographed with a Bronica SQ-A medium format camera.
(Copyright Leslie McDaniel 2010)