I've just spent a bracing hour in the company of Andrew Borowiec, thanks to Stan Banos's Reciprocity Failure blog. Starting with this short introductory video:
...and moving on to this longer but even more rewarding slideshow. (There's been such relentless rosy-hued propaganda through TV advertising about how lovely and perfect the Gulf Coast is that I've been in need of a corrective.)
We're not quite there with the medium of the narrated online slideshow yet, but I think it's a particularly amenable way to look at photographs—a modern multimedia version of a book that pairs pictures with accompanying text, my favorite form.
Hope you can take the time. Andrew has four books under his belt, two of which are still in print: Along the Ohio (Creating the North American Landscape), Cleveland: The Flats, the Mill, and the Hills, Historic Architecture in Canton, 1805–1940, and Industrial Perspective: Photographs of the Gulf Coast. His website is here and his gallery is here.
(Thanks to Stan Banos)
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Featured Comments from:
Doug Howk: "Great video. Interesting that he too finds the panorama image best format for his Gulf Coast series (I use a 7x17 for much of my Florida work). I have his Cleveland book which is an excellent survey of Cleveland's industrial area. As a teenager I vividly remember accompanying my father through that area as he went from one side of town to the other while conducting his TV repair business at people's homes (a profession in the past). There was even a whale processing plant in the flats that stunk to the high heavens but was a crucial part of the perfume industry."
Dave: "I lived in the Akron area when I was first getting into photography. At the time I was only into taking pictures of waterfalls and sunsets. Northern Ohio seemed like a photographic wasteland to me. Now that I'm into photos of old buildings, I kick myself for the missed opportunity. Because I was looking for ruins to take photos of, I didn't really notice that part of Ohio. The place seamed downright prosperous to me. Yes, there were abandoned factories and run down neighborhoods, but there were also many new subdivisions and budding high tech industries.
"Borowiec's photos look great; they are right up my alley—ruins porn disguised as Joel Sternfeld or Stephen Shore (I mean that as a compliment). However, if he wants to be a proper documentarian, I think he needs to point the camera at some of the progress that's springing up in the rust belt."