Santa Suzanna


Santa Suzanne

Santa Suzanna, copyright 2007 Douglas Stockdale

…always a tough decision, work on the new stuff that is fresh and exciting, or get the back-up, web-hosting and filing completed for the earlier images. Okay, so this time the winner is the images that I made a couple of days ago on the Santa Suzanna Pass Road of the recent roadside memorial that I just found out about.

In the process of selecting the image that had the feeling I was trying to bring out, I had my selection narrowed down to two different views. The one posted here and an image that I had composed from the other side of the new retaining wall, where I was positioned under the tree you can see opposite in this photograph. The decision became easier as I recalled a recent post by Colin regarding making images that are suggestions versus discribing something. For him it was his choice about digital color vs black & white.

For me, the one image that I had composed opposite was more of a documentary description of this past event, one that probably would have made a good journalist image. It had in the foreground the new barrier on one side leading to the two crosses, and slightly to the left was the torn up pavement, shattered post and twisted old barrier. Also evident even further on the left side of the image was the steep canyon dropping off out of the image. That would have been a good image to describe what was probably the last terrifying moments before her pumpting to the bottom of the canyon a good 100 ft down. But it is not my goal to discribe this accident in my image in that manner.

In this image, the two crosses for the woman who died in the accident are up close and you can see the details of what was placed in the location.  In the other image the crosses were hardly visible. Someone had loved this woman and cared a lot about her. In the other image you could not see the stuffed bear that is there to watch over her memorial. The other image placed too much emphsis on the damage and the terror, as if that was the subject. I felt you lost the focus on the connection, that there was a real person who’s life accidently ended on this road.

Perhaps the “grand” landscape image in the background of the image I chose is a symbol for the afterlife, a better place, that goes out to eternity. And the barrier in this image is a representation of the seperation, between us and from her.  Perhaps literally, she has gone on to the other side.

Best regards, Doug

2 thoughts on “Santa Suzanna

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  1. Doug, good choice. I think that you were right about the documentary nature of a photograph showing twisted metal, etc. Here, the picture along with your words have captured the idea that this was a person. Further, suggested by the picture, the government took additional steps to ensure future safety, i.e. the concrete barricade, which I would assume was installed after the accident. Certainly, this will not bring back the life, but at least there was an effort to put things right.

    Although I have seen these roadside markers all over the Carolinas, along with signs dedicated to various troopers, who I assume lost their lives on the highway doing their job, I had a certain amount of curiousity, but your project makes them more real.

    Good work, Doug.

  2. Paul, thanks for your encouraging words. For me, I don’t verbalize my feelings very well (okay, the GUY thing), so to try to understand and discuss this series has been a stretch for me. And Colin’s way of discussing the idea of “suggest” was a little bit of a break through for me. Simple idea that has been around but he helped me understand the application. Which reminds me that I need to post this on his blog as well:- )

    Best regards, Doug

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