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“The best way out is always through.”

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Immortalize Hometown Icons

"I don't know what to photograph!" I've heard that complaint from almost every student I've ever had in a photo class. It kind of reminds me of when my brother and I were kids and would stare into a full refrigerator and and say, "There's nothing to eat." (To which my parents would say in shock, "The refrigerator is full of things to eat!")

Life is full of interesting subjects to photograph and one of the things I often tell restless students is that you don't need to travel to exotic places to find fun subjects. Think about the town where you live, for example, what are the places that make that town unique? What might seem mundane to some--the pizza joints, the old factory mills, the local baseball park--are really icons of passing way of life and they make great subjects. The Cricket Car Hop was a legendary hot dog stand in the town where I grew up and, like a lot of hometown icons, it's since been torn down. I'm so happy that I took time to photograph it when it was still around. Look around your hometown and especially at those venerated institutions (like the hot dog stands) that your kids might never get to see. Take a few hours some Sunday afternoon and start an album of them; when they're gone they're gone, but if you've captured them with a camera, they'll live forever.

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