Monday, October 29, 2012

Secured By

Albemarle, North Carolina

Behind the Scenes

Ruskin, Florida

Dolores and Bruce installing a show of my prints in the exhibit space at The Firehouse Cultural Center, at the beginning of my week-long artist-in-residence stay. The prints on the wall were selections from my "off-topic" shooting during the Giant Road Trip earlier this summer. There were also selections from other work to be used in the teaching sessions, including both digital prints and a set of platinum/palladium prints from earlier drive-in theater work.

Thinking of the Storm?

Albemarle, North Carolina

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blog Notes

Days Inn Lobby, Farmville, Virginia

With the dire storm warnings looming, I began the day in Farmville, where I forced the GPS to plot a course that would take me to the western, I-81, route back home rather than deal with the storm preparation situation on the eastern, I-95, route. After about ten hours on the road, I'm back in Woodbury.

On I-81, Western Virginia

I wasn't the only one. All afternoon I kept easing past whole convoys of workcrew trucks. Three three-truck (two buckets, one pickup) crews from Alabama, and a dozen North Carolina tagged bucket trucks. Even a convoy of flat-bed tow trucks. What are they for? Prospecting for business hauling cars that have trees fall on them? What directly storm-related use is there for a dozen South Carolina tow trucks to head north? Just wondering.

The rush to get to the last theaters on the list frustrated my plan to look and shoot off-topic work in this area I've never visited before, spending several days backing off slowly from the rush of this densely packed multi-purpose expedition. But the walkabouts I got to do in Albemarle, NC—I've barely had time to glance at the material and grab a few shots for posting—make it certain I'll return to this area for general work without the drive-in project looming and dominating the agenda. But first we have to get through the storm. It seems certain that the power will go out, so posting here will be dependent on that.

Blossoming Weeds

Albemarle, North Carolina

Morning Stroll with Grandaughter

Bessemer City, North Carolina

The Last Two, Before the Storm

Henderson, North Carolina

Things were so hectic already that I haven't been able to set up a Kickstarter Update from the road, and then the big storm began to loom. I hadn't planned to get to these theaters for another couple of days, but had to rush things. Luckily the lighting conditions as encountered were pretty good for the venues. Stormy skies seem to work well here. I had several great off-topic walkabout shoots in Albemarle, and was frustrated yesterday to drive past wonderful looking towns because I just had to get to the last theaters on the list and then figure out how to head back for home in time to deal with—to the extent there's anything you can do—the predicted week or ten-day power outages expected from the storm effects. At least I also know that I want to return to this area to pursue my broader topic of small town America. Can't wait.

Keysville, Virginia

One of the most unusual theater setups I've ever encountered. There isn't a ticket booth, just a sign telling you to get a ticket. You leave the same way you came in. There's a building that was probably both the business and a home at one point, though current status is unclear. I'll try to find out more about this.

[posted in advance, Saturday evening]

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sunrise at the Sunset

Shelby, North Carolina

I wasn't disappointed, the theater was fantastic in morning light. However daylight savings time is a real drag. The sun didn't officially rise until something like 7:38. I was nearly ready for a second breakfast by then. The 7x17" film take on the scene, and the digital captures, are both promising.

A friend told me that Georgia (not that far away) has autumn for two hours. If you're inside, you'll miss it. From Georgia through both South and North Carolina, I seem to be getting more than my fair share of those two hours.

Shelby, North Carolina

Breakfast Room, Days Inn, 6:30 AM

Shelby, North Carolina

Shelby, North Carolina


Monetta, South Carolina

The Big Mo is a charming drive-in theater. I've been able to find out little about it, and attempts to contact the owners have been unsuccessful. But I got there Wednesday late afternoon, in very harsh light, and tried to make something work. It turned out that my best bet for a room was just 13 miles south in North Aitken, so Thursday morning I was able to return and try again in early morning light. A couple 8x10s at pretty much this framing should be good, and I like this color version as well, even though it strains the digital sensor to the limit. You see the back of the main screen behind and between the marquee and the ticket booth, and the corner of one of the other two screens can be seen in the gap between the trees on the left.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Sunset Drive-in Theater

Shelby, North Carolina

At, well, sunset. Given the orientation of the field and screen, it was inevitable to shoot it this way. I'll go back tomorrow morning to get full sunlight on the screen for a possible large format b&w, more in keeping with the core project.

The Starlight Six Drive-in Theater

Atlanta, Georgia

 The Starlight is a big theater with two three-screen fields, the older one dating back to 1949. The site is surrounded by hills south of the city near the airport. There are fantastic murals on some of the concession and projection buildings and the bases of the screen towers. These are just a few of the pictures from a shoot in brilliant noonday sunlight yesterday.


Ruskin, Florida

Ruskin, Florida

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Torn Fencing

Ruskin, Florida


Ruskin, Florida

Friday Evening...

Ruskin, Florida the drive-in. Families arrive as the dusk settles in and preparations are made for the evening's show. A little football practice passes time down in front of the big screen.

Ruskin, Florida

Ruskin, Florida 

Long time owner Ted Freiwald greets some regular customers.

Ruskin, Florida


Plant City, Florida (Ruskin Environs)

Could be a bumpy ride up the I-4 entrance ramp.