Tragedy, copyright 2007 Douglas Stockdale
…I am currently reading the book Photo Projects by Chris Dickie in which he writes about a number of photographers who have had the “determination to succeed” with completing their projects. It sure does seem that I am following in many of their footsteps and that is not neccessarily a “good” thing. My take away is that photographic (artistic) projects are not unlike what I encounter within industry in general, they are messy; I have moved foreward and realized that I were not lined up right, I have to rephotograph a subject, changed my mind on which image from a site that better conveys what I am trying to achieve and all of the image & filling changes that result. And now I realize that my naming of the images needs to be reexamined, and so I am making these changes, too.
I am a little frustrated because there are some other projects that I want to work on as well, but I need to bring this (Bad Trip – Sad Trip) to some closure. And I am learning a lot more about myself with each step back (yes, and sometimes going foreward..) and realize that is part of the process.
As to this image, Tragedy, it was made in Maui, Hawaii last year. I became aware of a sad statistic, that 50% of the fatilities with roadside accidents are realted to drunk driving and it is a big concern on the island. I don’t know if that was an issue with this accident, but there are the empty beer cans among the rest of the items left for this memorial. In fact my initial photographic choice for this memorial was a close up image of the memorial itself, with the Hawaiian flowers and other local artifacts.
I now realize that initial image choice was not working with what I want to convey, to suggest, so I chose another image that I made from across the road that provides a greater context. Now I have also brought into the image the scarred hillside that probably occured as a result of the accident. In this toned black & white image, the hillside damage is not as apparent, much more subtle and it may not even been noticed or associated with the memorial. But I find that you start to recognize the damage the longer you take to study the image and gradually understand this tragedy a little more.
Best regards, Doug