I have been revisiting my earlier photographs for my Roadside Remembrance series and how these two photographs of a site outside of San Antonio Texas impacted my artistic direction on this series.
I was heading to a place that I found on the internet that had the potential of some rapid running water, when I noticed this roadside memorial enroute. My destination turned out to be a very dry river bed, nevertheless I kept thinking about the memorial I had passed, which actually seemed more interesting than the potential natural landscape image I had hoped to create. Thus on my return to San Antonio I stopped to document this remembrance.
A tight framing of the memorial that provided a lot of detailed information about what was included in the remembrance seemed essential. I also found that I needed to place this memorial into a larger environmental context. I felt that this memorial that was braced by the barbed wire fence appeared more forlorn and lonely in the wide open spaces of this part of the Texas landscape. Thus my series started to incorporate these two elements; a portrait of a memorial in conjunction with a landscape photograph that provided a broader sense of the local community.
When returning back to my studio, I also realized how using digital photography might be an important of my artistic practice. This was the time that the airports were getting more aggressive in the X-ray of equipment and the hand-checking of analog film was getting to be a major hassle. When traveling by air, it just seemed that using digital capture was very convenient. Thus my determination to upgrade my digital equipment also resulted from this same trip. At this time I was using a Canon G-2 rangefinder that had a small 4mp sensor and I quickly moved up to a Canon DSLR.
After this Texas trip and finding I was most excited about the Roadside Remembrance photographs I had taken, I also realized that was a project that I wanted to continue expanding on. At the time, I had not realized the emotional impact it had on me regarding the development of a series that investigated the retention of memory. That would come later. Thus the start of my first urban landscape series and the transition from the natural landscape singular images.
Featured artwork, above; Texas State Route 46 (Alex – Juan) (Roadside Remembrance) copyright 2006
Exhibition, Portfolio Reviews & Workshops
January 21 – 24th, 2021; Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP), EXPOSURE WEEKEND, a series of virtual portfolio reviews, and I will be on the team of available portfolio reviewers available that weekend. Sign-ups start December 1st. More information here.
March 2021; Developing Your Creative Photo Book, a workshop that I am leading again in collaboration with Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP). (update) March 13 – 14th, and 20-21st from 9am – noon PST. Four days, two consecutive weekends, a virtual workshop on Zoom, with time between sessions to develop your book dummy.