Monday, August 14, 2006

My first Flickr set

I've had this idea for a series of photos for a few months now. Something I hoped would be unique. (Ha! Note to self...there is no "unique" anymore. Everything cool has already been done at least once...probably more. And 640k of RAM is all anyone will ever need). Anyway, I just recently started taking the photos for this series, and I've posted the first few on my Flickr site.

The photos are of those temporary roadside memorials you sometimes find at accident sites. Where someone has been killed in an car (occasionally bicycle...coming soon) crash, and their family and friends erect a DIY monument to the person. I love the uniqueness of the monuments. The complexity and creativity of some. And the fleetingness; The fact that at any time, the highway administration can (and probably will) remove them. I thought it would be cool to start capturing them and putting them somewhere people could (hopefully) appreciate them after they've been removed.

I'm not a 100% fan of Flickr yet. I don't really like the interface (tho, the changes they've made recently are an improvement). However, this series lends itself to the tagging/grouping/pooling/Flickr way of doing things more than it did the pbase way of doing things. Additionally, there was already a flickr group set up for photos of temporary monuments, so I figured I could add mine to that and perhaps get seen by more folks.

Capturing the images is often an adventure in itself. Last weekend, the girl and I took a roadtrip up to western MD. Lots of unfamiliar highway randomly dotted with unexpected monuments. Often you'd find yourself barreling along at 70mph, only to see a makeshift memorial along the roadside (invariably, in a place where there was no shoulder to pull off). You'd have to beeline for the shoulder as quickly (and safely...usually) as possible, pull the car as far off the highway as you could, then hike back along the highway 1/4 mile to the monument site.

I made a point of dropping a waypoint in my GPS at most memorial sites, so in the description of each photo on Flickr, you'll be able to see the coordinates of where the shot was taken (accurate to within a couple of hundred yards, cuz the GPS was in the car, not necessarily with me on the hike back to the monument itself). Copy and paste these numbers into the all-powerful Google Maps and you'll be able to see where each monument is. I figure that should keep you entertained for a few minutes.

I have a few more waypoints of monuments I wasn't able to stop and shoot. Hopefully one day soon I'll get back out to them and photograph them...before they're gone.