“…no photographic treatment of any place will ever be truthful….”

“…no photographic treatment of any place will ever be truthful…” That quote is from a recent blog post by Joerg Colberg and he was prompted to write on this topic because of the bruhaha over how some of photographer Stacy Kranitz’s work was shown by CNN. There is more on this at John Wall’s blog, Southern Photography The subject is extremely interesting, and it came up for me again as I was going through the photos I had made this past Monday while driving to and from Tallahassee.

The drive is a very pleasant one, on a four lane divided highway with low to modest traffic. What I really treasure about the drive is the green scenery through which the highway winds most of the way. What is interesting about it and why I love photographing along the way is that many of the infrequent structures and small towns along the way have changed little in the last few decades. Many of them have simply decayed. Of course there are new ones, but for the most part they have simply added to a jumbled strip-mall atmosphere wherever they happen to be.

I do feel that my interest in the older, often crumbling structures, and my resulting photographs  pretty accurately describe the feeling and atmosphere along this stretch of highway, but I won’t vouch for their truthfulness. However, if nothing else, I always want to keep that dialog going in my mind whenever I am photographing.

About christian harkness

Photographer and printmaker; living and working in north Florida.
This entry was posted in art, black & white, blurb book, Blurb Book 19/98, book, digital, Florida, Florida Highways, highway culture, landscape, Southern Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to “…no photographic treatment of any place will ever be truthful….”

  1. Christian,
    These photographs are timeless. Nice work.

      • Sure! Thanks for posting such beautiful photographs. I admire folks who have a penchant for finding beauty in decay..there is one old house in my neighborhood that is falling apart, and it is so lovely the way it sits so far back from the street, shrouded in vines and flowers.


        Many thanks Leah – there are a whole bunch of old gasoline stations that I have not photographed yet. Usually they are set back a little from the highway, and the vegetation hides them till one is right on top of them. So, as I drive by, I miss them.
        I may have to steal Ed Rauscha’s concept/title and do Twentysix Gasoline Stations or something like that. Actually I don’t think there are 26 of them.

        Best wishes -c-

  2. Debra says:

    I hadn’t heard of the Stacy Kranitz controversy, so thanks for highlighting that. I love the skies in these shots.

  3. Thanks Debra – yes, I think it is a very interesting topic, and one all photographers should be aware of.

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