After a shocking drop-off in 2017, today I found the will power to get out of the house and go on a photo safari, today with several objectives in mind.
First off, it was a cool, cloudy afternoon, with occasional unobtrusive rain showers – perfect for photos (when it wasn’t actually raining). I didn’t have to worry about sun, glare, shadows, etc., but dialed in the appropriate settings for my camera(s) and let her rip. Though I didn’t get quite everything I wanted (never do), I was fairly satisfied.
My subjects were along US 82 West, in the communities of Stamps and Lewisville, two woodsy and rather sparsely-populated counties in south Arkansas. Though economically depressed, they offer some interesting photographic opportunities in the way of “old stuff” – a few old derelict cars, some old metal buildings, a gas station that fell into disrepair in roughly about 1985. I also got some shots in a public fishing area that’s as creepily “Southern” as it gets – a bayou filled with twisty trees and, today, iced-over swamp water. I angled for a particular view that I’ve always wanted to get, but as I’ve learned over the years, the shot that I want just isn’t going to happen – too remote, too watery, and quite possibly filled with snakes. Anyway, results are below.
I photographed the underside of the bridge on US 82. There is a view of a bayou nearby I’ve always wanted to snap, but have never physically been able to approach it. For that, I probably need a jon boat or something (or a Fred boat). Maybe someday.
Ice is visible along the shoreline in this cold photo of a bayou in Stamps, AR. A desolate, creepy place that nonetheless attracts quite a few fishermen.
Another view of the bayou, taken from the boat ramp. That’s ice in the middle distance. The trees are hauntingly beautiful.
Tree limbs against a blank winter sky.
This burnt-out, derelict car was on the side of the highway in Stamps. The ruined paint makes a hallucinatory swirl of colors never intended by the manufacturer!
I was inspired to shoot through the (non-existent) rear windshield of the old car, using my 85mm portrait lens, which is capable of stunning images, no matter the subject.
This row of ancient gas pumps is located along US 82 in Lewisville, which is quite possibly the saddest little town I’ve ever seen. There’s something almost romantic about the post-apocalyptic condition of these pumps. I sometimes marvel at the disrepair that people allow their machinery to slip into – why can’t these pumps still be used? Was business really that bad?
The face of this disused pump tells the whole story. Really, did no one have enough money to even support a simple fucking gas station?
I spotted this abandoned building in “downtown” Lewisville. At one time, this was a thriving community, built on railroad and oil commerce, now ravaged by indifference, abandonment and an utter paucity of economic development. But at least there was oil here at one time. I guess.