July 14, 2009

Rural Street Scene

This may not be the most amazing photograph but it's a decent composite of what I am seeing repeated over and over in Ohio and Indiana. Those marquee-type signs, little ice cream-slash-burger joints, and grain mills. While there are endless miles of corn and soybeans, it's the human scale stuff that I find more interesting. I could be riding around in the early morning hours looking for the perfect farmhouse but that wouldn't be a realistic portrait of things. It may sell postcards and milk but it's not what I'm finding.

Frankly, this trip hasn't been overly photo-centric., I've been riding quiet back roads at odd times of day not overly conducive to strong photographs, I've been having conversations, and I've been thinking about the state of things in our economy and food system. Portrait opportunities aren't popping up as I might have expected. It's fine.

Yesterday, while talking to a sheriff about the cattle he raises and sells, I thought about making his portrait but held off to privilege the simplicity of conversation. While I never think of making portraits as anything short of a gift, it is a vibe-changer akin to getting folks to sign a release. There's a time and place for such things and that wasn't one of them. What he looked like is irrelevant in comparison to what he said.

Make pictures when you feel like it.
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