Here’s a different Thing of the Week. Instead of focusing on other artists, I thought I’d share some of my non-collodion work that combines images with text. It started as a break from wet plate collodion, but seems to have a life of its own.

I like to sort through our old family photographs and write stream-of-consciousness text to some of the images. I merge the text with the image file in Photoshop, then make large format prints of the results.

Text is usually placed around the image borders to allow the viewer to pick up prints, handle and examine them, just as we do with our own family photographs.

My writing is dark and sometimes humorous, and usually has nothing to do with the original context of the photograph. The subjects of old photograph become actors in a new reality.

Here are a few examples of early attempts. The text is shown below each image for easier reading. I don’t say much about each photograph except when pertinent to the story. Let me know what you think!

“Mom Gave Me Two Wishes” – A photo from my 2nd birthday party (yes I was really 2 years old in Nov 64. I’m really that old, but still just as cute!). My mom is in the white blouse. My grandmother (her mom) is in the photograph on the piano.

“Mom gave me two wishes on my 2nd birthday. I closed my eyes and thought really hard. My first wish was for my grandma to come back from the dead and be at my birthday party. I was disappointed because that didn’t happen so I closed my eyes and thought again. My second wish was for all of us to go to where she was. Happy birthday to me!”

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“She’s a Doll”

“They had the perfect kid always obedient made good grades said her prayers told the truth looked both ways. They had the perfect kid never disrespected misbehaved dated bad people got into fights gave them any trouble.” _____________________________________________________________

“Last Supper”

“This is the last time they were all together. Randy moved to Washington DC. He worked for the Department of Defense and died at age 45. Heart attack. Sue died in her sleep three weeks after retiring from teaching. Mom smiles when she looks at this photo but she also cries.”  _____________________________________________________________

“The Garden”

“‘Lie down in the grass and pose for me,’ he said. So I did. I’d always be obedient. He’d say I was pretty until he got what he wanted, then it was back to our normal life. Our dog was treated better. Well the last time he ever told me what to do was when he said to pose for this picture. It was not easy but I put him in his place. I can’t wait to see my garden this year.”

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“What I did at Camp…”

“What I did at camp…”

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“A Thousand Words are Worth a Picture”

“A thousand words are worth a picture.” _____________________________________________________________

“Girl in Snow at Drive-Inn”

“It was a different world back then. Most people trusted other people. I told her not to get in the car with him but she said they would be careful. She thought it was about the snow, but I was talking about him. I should have insisted she wait until my shift was over. I could have taken her home and she would have been safe. I should have been more forceful but I was shy then. I’ve changed. So has she.” _____________________________________________________________

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