Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Normal, IL: Documentary Photos Part Two

The first set of photos that I took of downtown Normal only covered half of the main street. This is the other half. Photos of the downtown area would be incomplete without pictures of Babbitt's Books, the local secondhand bookshop.

You'll also notice some construction going on. The downtown area is being completely renovated right now. Parking is horrible and the construction has affected some of the local businesses. All the store owners I talked to are looking forward to the new sidewalks that were poured today.

I woke up at four in the afternoon (because I was up all night). After checking my email, I went into Normal to take the last set of pictures. Most of the stores were closing.

In my last post, I talked about my interest in documentary photography . . . Well, I had an insight tonight about these pictures I've taken in the last two days. At first, I thought there was such a thing called "documentary photography," but now I'm starting to have my doubts.

Although these are pictures of my town, I think they reflect me more than anything. Does documentary photography really just document ourselves?

The first slideshow has a youthful, rebellious feel. I focus on headshops, skateshops, and used CD stores. The second slideshow depicts the town as nearly deserted because of the construction.

I come to the scene late, to take pictures. The workers have all gone home, except one. The giant orange equipment sits idle in the trenches.

Also, notice all the pictures of books, it's because I love reading, I love looking at books, I love holding them. And I've been in Babbitt's Books many many times. I used to go there every day.

No matter how objective we try to be, we reveal ourselves. We cannot help it. The self cannot be disguised. We represent ourselves in everything we do.


spen said...

nice, your photos and comments amplifiy my emphaty with you. Good work.

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