View Full Version : David Plowden
Given the new category, I decided it was time to promote my favorite photographer once again.
Mr. Plowden, http://www.davidplowden.com , has been around for a long time. Black & white. 6x6 (lot's of hassy shots). An eye for the things on the margin of society that are being activly pushed away by that society. Assistant to O. Winston Link, New York, NY, 1958–1959 & if you've seen anything from Mr. Link, you can see why this was a very fruitful apprenticeship.
William, thank you for allowing us to discover this guy. Very well done photographs of great historic significance.
Ironically, this is the very project I have been contemplating. What has kept me back is the cost of such a project. Wandering aimlessly about the backroads of America is no longer the cheap trip it used to be.
In 1969 I got a teaching job in southern Illinois and spent 5 weeks driving from San Francisco to SI. Mostly driving the less traveled route. I was amazed at how many of these decaying/abandoned towns I encountered. I slept in my car (or camped out, depending on weather). I took countless pictures with an old Rolleicord and, of course, many resembled these photographs.
Somehow, in the process of getting settled into a new community (Carlinville, Illinois/Blackburn College) I managed to lose all of those exposed rolls.
But I want to do it again. I'm looking around for an old and small motorhome. Might be the cheapest way to do it.
Thanks so much for the images.
Ted, I understand. I keep thinking that a 6x6 folder & a motorcycle might be the way to do it as well. OTOH, I have a 5 year old & a day job ... so I simply keep my Bessa handy with either the 50/1.8 or 35/1.8 mounted (keeps the exposure info simple ;) )
and with in reach. I have a small selection of barns in my gallery, but nothing like I'd like to do.
I am also a fan of his photographs. In my life I've probably bought only four books of photographs, and two were by David Plowden. In summer I usually spend quite a bit of time driving the back roads, and trying to make photo's that, if successful will be derivative of his work. It is probably my primary ongoing project. Unfortunately I have little to show (other than lots of miles on the odometer).
For similar work by Wright Morris, you might take a look at two of his books:
"The Home Place" and "Distinctly American". Both books chronicle a disappearing America.
Morris was as good a photographer as he was a writer (Field of Vision won the National Book Award).
His photographs are wonderful....but there's no such state as KA. Folks in Kansas (I suppose that's where he had in mind...) might get a touch annoyed, and his captioning is not very consistent, either. Some captions have a comma after the title of the shot, some don't. Let's hope the editors caught these problems before the book was printed.
Having criticized his verbiage, his images are terrific!
Hey William - I've been a Plowden fan for some time. Thanks for bringing him to light once again. He has a keen eye and interesting way of working. I always picking up a book of his for inspiration.
Oh. This guy's good.
Thank you for the link.
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