5 thoughts on “Subtopia

  1. Stark. Depressing. Excellent rendering of scenes under what look like difficult lighting conditions. Superb work, both technically and artistically.

  2. These are great. I especially like #1, #3 (for the cookie cutter reverse plan), and #4. #2 is nice, too, but just didn’t have the same impact on me as the other three. Great work. Just great. Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. I really like this set. Not only are they technically very well executed, there’s such a powerful sociological story being told. They sort of put me in mind of this series I want to shoot this spring. I live in a neighborhood that’s “transitioning,” which means you have lots of places where there’s a gorgeous new house or duplex sitting in the middle of very old, run down structures. I’m going to shoot them side by side and see how it turns out. If I do half as well as you have here I’ll be ecstatic.

  4. Thank you all for the kind feedback. A couple of people have commented about the execution. I have to say that having the right tools made that relatively straightforward. (Sony NEX-7, high-quality, stabilized 10-18mm superwide zoom, shooting raw, post processing with Aperture.) The key to these images, as always, was actually opening my eyes — in this case so that I could actually see things I pass by almost every single day in a new way. This is Niwot. I live here. I occasionally think of the dystopian aspects of parts of the town. But this is the first time I stopped to document it. The likes of Frank Gohlke, Henry Wessel, Jr., Lewis Baltz, Stephen Shore, and especially Robert Adams (all of “New Topographics” fame) provided the inspiration. Sam, especially considering the project you mentioned, you should make sure to check out the images in the New Topographics book. And btw, I’d encourage you to approach the subject with an open mind. There may be something dystopian about those gorgeous new houses and something beautiful about those run down structures.

    And btw, an inheritor of the New Topographics aesthetic worth checking out is Terry Falke. For Chanukah/Christmas, I got his book “Observations in an Occupied Wilderness.” Worth checking out.

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