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Return to Pontiac

My travels brought me back to Pontiac, Michigan.

I was there years ago as part of a workshop. I got some great images, photographing wonderful models. Some things never change.

At the time, I remembered Pontiac for its patina – it’s a hardscrabble town with lots of abandoned businesses, graffiti, and an air of depression. It’s actually worse now.

In other words, it’s a photographers paradise. And I had the opportunity to return (and hopefully will again).

So I went with my travel buddy and fellow photographer Chuck Johnson, and we shot a couple of local models, Griselda and Erica, that evening.

We did the juxtaposition thing – grimy background,pretty model – and came away with decent material:


 This is Griselda, and she certainly fulfills the pretty part. The dumpster near us helped out with the grime (nothing like odor resembling raw sewage to really set the mood). But in all honesty, these type of images have almost become cliche.

It’s not that I’m not happy with the images, or with my technique. The lighting is vintage Fadel, and I do love, love, love the focus falloff of a wide aperture prime. It’s just that I’ve seen this perhaps too much.

I’m not against texture. Texture I love. I was just searching for more meaning. After all of the good experiences, why did I have to settle for Pontiac the dump? Perhaps a garden paradise would be stretching it. But still …

So, amidst the grime and the decay, I looked for something more. And, perhaps, found just the tiniest bit of say Tuscany in Pontiac:


More from this day to come.

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