The Rising River

May 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

The American River has been running high for quite some time. The record amount of snow in the mountains has dam operators scrambling in order to make enough room in the reservoirs to control the inflow should a warm storm hit the mountains causing all that snow to melt.  I mention the high river because at the high water mark is a bathtub ring of driftwood and flotsam.  I have found some interesting pieces of wood, and to do justice to them I have been taking them to the studio to photograph them.

My First Photo Project

May 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

My first major photo project was photographing in a halfway house for developmentally disabled men in Houston, TX.  My brother Billy, was one of the residents there. Billy, who was eighteen months older than me, and I grew up together in New Orleans. When Billy was 20 my aging parents found Marbridge House and thought that in the long run it would be the best living situation for Billy. In 1980 when I started the project Billy was 27 years old and well established at Marbridge House. I wanted to know what his life was like there. I soon discovered that there were vast differences between the residents there, although they were all “slow learners” as my family and I described Billy, some were ambitious, engaged and on task, while others were nearly catatonic, most however were more like Billy, somewhere in between those two extremes. For awhile I tried to make pictures that portrayed what life was like for the residents there, I thought the photos felt forced and uninteresting. I then just started making photos that I thought were interesting, pretty soon I felt that I was making a document that was both descriptive of life there and possessing some emotional truth.

Where Am I?

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