Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Your commute

The reason I chose "seeing the invisible" as the focus this month was to make myself get back to working on a project I started more than a year ago. The project involves looking at Utah through one street (appropriately named "State Street"). I often drive on State on my way to work, and when the freeway is too busy, I use State on my way to Salt Lake City. Other photographers have done projects about Highway 89 (of which State is a part), but those tend to focus on beautiful nature scenes. To my knowledge, nothing has been done on the much less picturesque sections that run through the cities, and yet those are the sights the majority of Utahns see every day.

My personal goal is to turn my project into a book/exhibit within the next year or so. I don't expect people to want my State photos as home d├ęcor (well, not most people), but I do think it will be a good way to appreciate the unique identity of Utah. As I stop to look at the things I drive past at 55 mph (um, I mean, 45, officer, and sometimes 30).

Try it. Take a street that is part of your daily commute or a street that defines your city in some way. Try to notice something you would overlook. Try taking a photo that is not conventionally beautiful. See if changes your perspective.

Last Friday, I visited a friend in SLC. I took my camera and I took State instead of I-15. Here are a few of the photos:

"Don't ask"

The patriotic mailboxes first caught my attention, but the sign is what makes the photo:
This is NOT 802. DON'T ASK.
There's a story there.

"Mental Iron"

The stark graphics of a shadow cast by a speed limit sign on this wrecking ball intrigue me.

"Fire Proof"

I know that many people will not find these photos appealing, but keep in mind that I love photographers such as William Eggleston, John Gossage, and Stephen Shore. It's not every day that you see "fire proof" as a primary selling point. Or that you see filing cabinets outside next to a mountainscape.


An old Rambler for sale outside of a vacant auto repair shop.


Right off of 45 mph State, this is the visual equivalent of having 4 locks on your door.

"Yard Sale"

Only in Utah.


Unknown said...

I love this. Looking at the ordinairy and seeing the fascinating. I will take my camera to the city on Thursday.

Ky said...

Fantastic photos! I especially love the filing cabinets with the mountains in the background. You are a talented man for sure.

Jill said...

These are great Marc, so funny and interesting. I'm very familiar with the "Fireproof" scene since I pass that area several times a week.

The "don't ask" sign is hilarious and strange, a great thing to capture.

Mark said...

You made the Ugly look Pretty.
p.s. My Reunion Job went very well. Thanks for those tips!

gentsekoppen said...

well, appealing or not, I like them very much

The Belgian
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