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Tuesday, 06 March 2018

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When you write of the power of a series of images, the thought that comes to. mind is that a series shares some similarity to a film, at least in the sense that there's a sequence rather than a single static image. Of course, there are many dissimilarities as well, but the concept of one photo/scene building on the what went before has a certain resonance.

As a former long time New Englander who has been hanging out in Austin for over 11 years now I have to tell "y'all" how hard it is here to endure 70+ degree days in early March and want to emphasize how much I miss the cold frozen stuff like ice, snow and slush.

Those pictures in a series you mentioned are sometimes called movies!

Hi Mike,
This could be a subject to persue at TOP. Portfolios or series of photographs on a theme.
2 years ago I visited the V&A (Victoria and Albert museum) in London where an exhibition of Portfolios from their massive collection was on display. The curator told me that series photographs was the earliest and most consistent way photographs were shown.
Think about William Henry Fox Talbot and Pencil of Nature.It is my favourite way to show photographs.

Driving around looking for pictures one afternoon some years ago, I had a sort of mini-revelation: namely, that for me photography must be about telling a story. I realized early in my career that for me photography is above all an act of exploration. But somehow I had not made a complete connection with that understanding. On this particular day I realized that in order to be engaged I must be working toward some sort of story, whether a photo essay or a photos-and-words story. The best years of my career were the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, when I was developing and shooting A-V documentaries for non-profit organizations; telling stories in photos and words. Doing books is also great, even better in some ways because they’re more permanent – assuming I can get them published!

I’m not an art photographer, except perhaps incidentally, or perhaps I should say accidentally. I’m always looking for visual puns, but other than that I’m mostly not looking for stand-alone photographs. Many of my photographs are not strong on their own, but gain strength from their context as part of a story or sequence.

I have always been drawn to the old, the abandoned, the worn out, the passing away. Abandoned buildings, abandoned cars – whatever man has used, worn out, and discarded -- fascinate me because they speak of worn out lives, lived and discarded with neither name nor history.

I am especially drawn to the remnants of mid-twentieth-century roadside culture because I lived it. In the 1950s and '60s I hitch-hiked the two-lane highways of America. I saw the Rock City barns, the Mail Pouch Tobacco barns, the roadside fast-food stands built to look like giant chickens or hot dogs, the wigwam motels. Like Tennyson's Ulysses, "I am a part of all I have met." Or more accurately, all I have met is part of me.

I admire the work of nature photographers such as David Meunch and the late Galen Rowell, but am much more drawn to the work of the great observers of the human scene, such as Elliott Erwitt, Robert Doisneau, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. I wish I could do what they do. I've tried, and I know I will never photograph people as well as they do. But I have a niche of my own, and I must be content. Rather than photographing nature or the human condition, my role is to document the interface between nature and the crumbling works of man.

Hi Mike,

Series do work in instagram if you use a very unique hashtag (and hope that nobody else uses it). Here's one I did in 2014 / 2015

https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/notapowerstnpic/

Rory

Thanks, Mike!

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