Most photos I take when I’m on a road trip are documentary. I take care to compose them as well as I can so they’re pleasing, but my primary goal is to show the road and its context of landscape and built environment. Once in a while on the road I find something that creates a feeling in me, and I set about trying to capture whatever it is about the scene that generated it. I guess that makes those photographs art.
Honestly, I struggle with the notion of myself as an artist. As a boy I was acquainted with a number of artists and whatever I remember them to be, I’m not. I went to engineering school, for heaven’s sake, and make software for a living – my world has long been filled with the concrete, the factual, the practical, the purposeful. Certainly, creativity overflows in these hard disciplines. As you know, I think truss bridges are beautiful. But more than that, I respect and admire how their beauty is always second to their purpose. Yet here I am, trying to make something beautiful, or something that tells a story, or something that creates a feeling, just for its own sake. And wet is dry, and left is right, and up is down.
And now, a few art photos from my recent Dixie Highway tour.
This is a door on the Fountain County Courthouse in Covington. These doors seemed so severe and imposing. I shot digital on this trip; all my black-and-white shots are that way thanks to Photoshop. That conversion made this door even more severe and imposing.
I spotted a ghost sign on a building in Crawfordsville a block north of the Dixie and moved in to capture this detail. I punched up the contrast a little, which brought out some really nice textures in the image.
A storefront in Waynetown had this old-style entry. I’ve seen a lot of old commercial buildings in small Indiana towns but very few entries like this one, as so many have been modernized over the years. Converted to black and white, this photo reminded me of a scene from the 1930s, save for the modern credit-card stickers on the window.
And finally, a color shot just how it came out of the camera. This is an old alignment of the Dixie west of Brownsburg. I like the relentless green framing the gray road, how the sun faintly shines onto the road through the trees, and how the window reveals the unexpectedly lurking house.
Last updated on 15 March 2020 by Jim Grey