Sunday, July 27

America To Me

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So what to do under the glare of the Dixie sun in mid summer? What to do when you're standing in the parking lot of a monster discount store? What's the story... the feeling... the idea... What runs together as the heat melts even primary colors down into streams of a place that's like the places that every American goes? How to turn the commonplace into a thought about the commonplace? As you feel the sun sear your skin to a bubbling consistency?

Here are the virgin pictures from my FlashCard... Comments?


Barry Armer said...

Great eye for spotting the scene in the first place and terrific post-processing!

Ted said...

Gosh thanks Barry... How to picture the invisible? The banal? The Every-Day? Are there angels in those slabs of marble that can be released?

Recently I had a necessity to take the public bus into the suburbs of Florence, Italy. And while there on business I peered out of the windows expecting to see grand scenes of Italian farms and picturesque country-folk and...

What I found were large box manufacturing plants constructed probably of cinderblock and painted white as the discount store in this image.

Yes they were clean. No... nowhere were things dingy. And they seemed more likely to have build matching cinderblock walls around them for security as opposed to the chain mesh fencing Americans erect.

But they are as ordinary as the old city of Florence is not. Why was I so startled to find these places where thousands of people worked? Because no one told me they'd be there. No photographers, writers, videos, or narratives told me that real, honest, ordinary people worked in real, honest, ordinary factories. It was like finding that the bathrooms in the Vatican were... functional, and dull!

So I'm beginning to wonder how we can turn our artistic imaginations into capturing this moment of vast change throughout the world. Eugene Atget did it in Paris between what? 1870 and 1910? Perhaps he started earlier documenting an age and culture that is entirely gone. Imagine if we could see images from the streets of 75BC Rome!

Maybe those images I put up with this post are the 21st century equivalent?

John Roberts said...

Documentary photography, well done, has always fascinated me. How did the photographer know what would be interesting to viewers 50-100 years in the future? Quite a challenge.

You accurately captured the melting feeling of summertime heat in the deep south. I'm longing for September and the first cooling breezes of Fall!