At the start of Tony’s latest talk, Abandoned America, he gave us all a push about doing a personal project – Tony is sure everyone has the ability to produce one, and when you realise how many years it can take to complete one (although I do wonder if once you start, you would ever actually stop) I can see that it would focus your mind into a different mindset. ie taking photographs for yourself, rather than a judge.
Most of us are familiar with Tony’s work, he has spoken at the club several times, and it is always an inspiring night. On this occasion we were taken across the high plains of America, seeing desolate and abandoned home-steads, some stunning properties in their heyday but now just falling down because there is no-one willing to stay in the barren, lonely landscape. It all looks quite benign, but when Tony mentions going in to these properties making a noise to scare away the creatures, I was thinking rats and mice …. but no, Tony was meaning raccoon, skunk and rattle snakes! For this trip Tony and his wife were keen to travel when the weather would suit the mood of the surroundings, so 15 years after the initial project they returned hoping for cloud, rain and stormy skies, but equally intending to miss the tornado season.
As we would expect the images were stunning, the commentary amusing but also surprising, and thought provoking, when you realise those inhabitants just walked away, leaving personal possessions in the rooms and photographs on the walls, off to their new lives.