Tag Archives: Photography

Pittsburgh Pics

Some great photos of the Steel City from my pal Estelle Tran at her new blog, Pixburgh N’at.

Recognize this spot in Oakland?

Another great street scene.

Love this one.

Make sure you read the sign.

Check more of ’em out here.

-KG

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Filed under architecture, Art, Featured, Rust Belt Blogs, The Big Urban Photography Project

Come to the opening of The Big Urban Photography Project’s first show

Rust Wire is proud to present The Big Urban Photography Project art show, featuring photographic interpretations of Rust Belt cities as seen through the eyes of their young residents. The show is the result of a multi-year collaborative media project that called on the region’s best documentary and fine arts photographers.

Over two years, we asked for open submissions of photography highlighting the unique blend of despair and hope in a number of cities. Dozens of amateur and professional photographers submitted images of Detroit, Youngstown, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Chicago, Grand Rapids, Toledo, Cincinnati, Buffalo and others. The art show will allow us to share hold up the best work as a tribute to the region.

The Brew House, 2100 Mary Street in Pittsburgh’s South Side, will host the exhibit.

The show will open with a reception from 6-9 p.m. Friday, April 15. We would love to see you -our readers and contributors- there.

Let us know if you are coming here. We would love to meet as many of you as possible.

We also plan to bring the show to Cleveland and Youngstown soon!

A special thanks to Theo Keller at The Brew House, Tirzah DeCaria and Kara Skylling for helping plan and co-ordinate this show!

-Kate & Angie

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Filed under architecture, Art, Featured, regionalism, Rust Belt Blogs, The Big Urban Photography Project, The Media

Cheap Shot? Photographing Urban Ruins

Vice Magazine is carrying a very interesting article about the way Detroit is being portrayed by the media in the midst of its economic catastrophe.

“Detroit is being descended on by a plague of reporters,” says writer Thomas Morton. “If you live on a block near one of the city’s tens of thousands of abandoned buildings, you can’t toss a chunk of Fordite without hitting some schmuck with a camera worth more than your house.”

Accompanying the article is this photo, meant to illustrate photographers’ habit of literally cropping out prosperity from their shots.

From Vice: Hi, here I am in front of the landscape that photographers always use to illustrate the jarring contrast between poverty (as represented by a desolate alley) and wealth (as symbolized by the fancy GM skyscraper in the back). That white building on the left is one of Detroit’s most successful grinding plants. Photo by Joseph Patel

From Vice: Hi, here I am in front of the landscape that photographers always use to illustrate the jarring contrast between poverty (as represented by a desolate alley) and wealth (as symbolized by the fancy GM skyscraper in the back). That white building on the left is one of Detroit’s most successful grinding plants.

There is something about ruin that is attractive to photographers and I have noticed that many try to capture the beauty in destruction. But at what point do these images become exploitive?

Many photographers were criticized following the devastation of Katrina in New Orleans for taking “disaster vacations.” The criticism was they were taking whimsically beautiful photos of what was in fact a terrible event that was upending lives across the coast. The criticism in effect was that they weren’t journalistic, in the sense that they weren’t accurately documenting the horror of the situation.

I have seen this in the Rust Belt too. This summer I was working for an organization that published reports about foreclosure and we needed a shot of Braddock, Pennsylvania. I searched and searched online for a photo that would show what the community of Braddock was actually like but there was nothing.

The funny thing was, there was a whole web site devoted to Braddock-based photographers, but throughout the web site, there was barely a picture that gave any broad impression of how the community would look to a motorist or a pedestrian. Instead, the photos were largely similar: close-cropped, colorful rusted doors and dirty, old stuffed animals. No one interacting on the street. No well-kept gardens. No children on their way to school.

So my question is, what is photographers responsibility to communities across the Rust Belt and do they have one?

-AS

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Filed under Art, The Big Urban Photography Project

End of the Road, Mean Streets

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Two interesting items in this month’s Harper’s Magazine:

End of the Road, a piece about how the decline of the Big Three is linked to declining blue-collar wages and job security, and

These Mean Streets, photos of “scenes from the abandoned city”

Neither is available online unless you are a subscriber, so you’ll have do it the old fashioned way and to pick up a magazine if you want to look at these.

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Filed under Featured, U.S. Auto Industry

dArt St. Louis

On April 30th, 2009, one hundred St. Louisians stepped up to the line and threw their dart at the giant map of St. Louis City. They then had a month to visit the block where their dart landed and take a photograph.

The results are beautifully chronicled at dartstlouis.com.

A sampling:

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Jefferson & Papin by Corinne McAfee

Kennerly Ave. & North Taylor

Kennerly Ave. and North Taylor by Curt von Diest

Russell Blvd. & Broadway by Jay Baker

Russell Blvd. & Broadway by Jay Baker

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Filed under Art, Featured

Blog Spotlight: Industrial Decay

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Take a look at the photos of industrial decay highlighted by this blog.

There are an amazing amount of photos on here. My one teeny complaint is that I would like to know a little bit more about where some of the pictures were taken. It’s still well worth a look.

-KG

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Filed under Art, Featured, Rust Belt Blogs, The Big Urban Photography Project

Detroit’s Beautiful, Horrible Decline

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Detroit's Main Train Station. Opened in 1919. Has not been used since 1988.

Wow. Check out this slideshow by two French photographers about decline in Detroit. Amazing.

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Filed under Art