Thompson Spring, Utah 2

Continuing a few posts on some work from Utah made in 2010.

By now, into the fifth frame in the series, I knew I had a hold of something and was excited at what I might discover as I continued walking down the road and photographing.

Here is the start of my imposing an internal structure to the pictures as I believe it is important to have a logic behind them. But put yourself here, say, 75 years ago. How many evenings sitting on that porch, watching the sun go down? How many stories told, rocking the baby to sleep, cups of coffee in the morning before heading off to work?

Why all three sides of this one, why such weight placed on this home? I can't really say, perhaps I was thinking these same questions, this present version serving as a  monument and remembrance of past lived and gone.

And then we jump

to this. Bang! A new chapter in the series? Certainly we are someplace else, although the light is the same and the sky. We have moved farther down the road to an abandoned motel and a core group of pictures in the series.

There also is a pattern developing here. From clarity in some frames taking us to see through to the background or obscuring the background and forcing us to a  close or middle ground. This is deliberate although fully realized more in editing than when shooting originally. Remember, in series work I have made many more exposures than what we see here.

For me the motel represents some kind of life, thinking of guests checking in, an electrician or perhaps a plumber staying there overnight working on a job, or a young couple on their way west, stopping for a night in Thompson Springs in 1952. Clearly the building of the highway nearby choked the life out of this town, everyone passing by at 75 mph, rather than passing through town. That, of course, cascaded into the loss of the RR station. The morning I was there last fall, I stood on the Frontage Road and watched as a train came swooping through really fast, no need to slow down through a ghost town.

This is the last we will see of the motel but by moving around to the right side it is also a predictable image in that it repeats what I had done with the house earlier in the series.

As a side note: this is perhaps where I am most comfortable making this sort of work. Working alone, no distractions, no one else either by my side or nearby, not being observed through a kitchen window, not trespassing, just looking, thinking and pressing the shutter button occasionally. Over my career I have made pictures in amidst people and traffic and all kinds of outside influences but this quiet, this solitude, this ability to concentrate is my favorite and quite rare.

Next up is Thompson Spring 3 where things will change quite a bit from the pattern I had established so far.

Topics: Southwest,Digital,Color

Permalink | Posted March 26, 2019