Gardening (For Ordnance)


One of the interesting outcomes of preparing to make my Gardening For Ordnance publication submissions is that I am gaining better clarity on the pre-visualization of the pending book (yes, there is always another book in my future).

It also became apparent that I have a bunch more color film negatives to scan (and maybe a few more images to photograph). One issue with external hard drive storage is when either the hard drive malfunctions or it is no longer compatible with the current computer. One really nice thing about film negatives; these are physically tangible items that are not impacted by shifting whims of technology. Such that I know that I had scanned some negatives back in 2008 and I am unable to find the digital files (some of which I know are “lost” on a malfunctioning external hard drive), but nevertheless I still have the negatives. Although it will be a pain to scan these negatives again the photographs are not lost on some fouled-up hard drive. Maybe another good reason to use film, eh?

I made the recent submission with twenty photographs and now I that am focusing on the potential book I realize that I will need at least another twenty more scans to complete. At a minimum. I have created a new project page on my website for Gardening For Ordnance with the twenty photographs that are in the relative order of my developing book dummy. So I invite you to check that out.

Although the photographs have titles, not evident on the website are the related captions that I think really tie this project together. I have collecting a bunch of documents over the years that relate to the decommissioned World War II bombing range I live on. Thus I am working on the pairing of the photographs with a some-what related caption. For the photograph above I have a straw-man for the corresponding caption:

While numerous quantities of Ordnance and Explosive Waste (OEW) have been recovered over the years, there have been no reports of injuries or death. – Ordnance and Explosive Waste Archive Search Report for Plano Trabuco Target Area, October 1993, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

I belive the juxtaposition of the photograph with the caption creates the ensuing narrative that I envision. (How nice; no reports of injuries or death). Individually the caption and photography is probably insufficient, but collectively when all of the photographs and captions are experienced I think the underlying concept for this project will become evident. I hope!

Thus the editing of the next set of negatives to be scanned will be completed in conjunction with finding a corresponding potential caption.  Of course one design alternative is to have multiple photographs per caption, but at this stage, the more captions, the merrier. For me, perhaps a bit of overkill with one caption per photograph. It will be easier for me to back-off on the captions as the book design progresses as I continue to build the book dummy for this project.

This project seems to be really coming together (finally).


Featured singular image: Gardening (Gardening For Ordnance) sometime in 2013, Douglas Stockdale



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