Oregon – Roadside Remembrances

Oregon State Route 26 copyright 2011 Douglas Stockdale

We made a very long weekend out of this past weekend, driving up from Southern California to Portland. Enroute on Interstate-5, I made a mental note of the absence of roadside remembrance memorials in California and the plethora of them as we crossed the border into Oregon. Initially I intended to make note of them, but once I start making mental notes, I found myself actively composing and thinking of how the Oregon landscape is different from the previous work I did on this series.  And yes, I start taking photographs.

During this series I have frequently stopped to make detailed compositions or on this trip made drive-by photographs, where the blur of the landscape creates images that are more akin to a transitory memory. I created the most abstract image to date (below) that is ambigious to the point it loses most of the direct meaning, while simultaneously embodying the most interpretative narrative. So the photograph below has put me on the fence. If I had any concerns about the validity of the image, that was dispelled when I returned home to find my copy of Susan Burnstine’s new book “Within Shadows“. The key difference is that Burnstine’s entire book is developed around a similar and consistent style of images, while I have just this one and it appears out of sorts with the others.

But I sense that I am back in the mode of working actively on this project again, so I will see what else develops, as I may end up with a whole collection of similar abstract images. So as a result, I now have added Oregon to the places that I found the roadside remembrance memorials and next maybe I will find more on my trip to North Carolina later this month.

Best regards,



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