“Driving Impressions…19/98…”


Those of you who have been following my work for a while know that I collected a portfolio of highway images while driving between Cedar Key and Tallahassee, Florida. The photos are all in color, most were taken with my little Sony Cybershot DSC-W7 while I was driving or riding in our car. Most of the time the windshield was dirty, and the images are often out of focus, blurry, tilted or otherwise pretty rough. At first I thought them pretty worthless, but as I worked with them, I grew attached to them. Some of them were even published, and I also placed them in my photo store.’

Originally I had wanted to photograph that area in large format b&w, but eventually realized that I would never get around to that, instead I went ahead with the digital color version. Now I am beginning to take another look at the photos to see if I can reinterpret them into meaningful b&w images. Here is my first try. The highway where most of the photos were taken is an old Florida highway dating back to 1929. It is a divided four lane highway with relatively little traffic. It was the way to get to the southern west coast of Florida till the interstate highways came along. The sudden decline in traffic left the area in suspended animation, with crumbling gas stations, restaurants, and motels along the way. This is ‘Tea Party’ territory and when you look at the scenery, you can understand why.

ps. When I click on the above image it opens in a separate window with a dark gray window, and I think that is the better way to view the images on this blog.

The ‘Motel’ sign above goes with this structure. I had driven by here every once in a while probably for over 25 years. During all that time the structure never seemed to change. About two weeks after I took this and some other photos, the structure was torn down, although the site was not totally cleared, and there is still lots of rubble strewn about. Sure glad I made these photos though!

About christian harkness

Photographer and printmaker; living and working in north Florida.
This entry was posted in 19/98, art, Artist's book, Blurb Book 19/98, cedar key, digital, documentary, Florida, Florida Highways, highway culture, photography, Southern Photography and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “Driving Impressions…19/98…”

  1. Beautiful images. I’m delighted to have found your site.

  2. Many thanks Roger & boy I am looking forward to exploring your site!

  3. Love all three images. There are some gems around the backroads of Tallahassee and the forgotten coast.

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