All posts filed under “The Coal Region

Lackawanna, Luzerne, Columbia, Carbon, Schuylkill, Northumberland, and Dauphin counties.


Pro Life. Route 309, Outside of Tamaqua Pa. 2007.

While Santorum still held office and wasn’t quite a laughing stock* yet, these signs popped up along highways, scattered around north eastern and central Pa, as I had seen a few on my drives through the area and near the town I grew up in. I have no idea of their maker or purpose and I found them to be really bizarre and random. They were well made, obviously constructed with care, and relatively large, as they could be read from the highway. Why the white cross? The flower? Why the text?

I have always been fascinated by the signage along highways. My interest lies not in the billboards, not in the messages and images that want to convince me to spend money, but in the signage that has been put up by individuals. I am perpetually boggled at the maker of such text and signs. What’s the intent? Why put something so nonsensical in such a visible place? What need does placing the sign fulfill?

*Depending on who you ask, I suppose.

Routes 61 & 81.

For whatever reason, I have always really loved this photograph. The original chrome, however, was not well exposed (it was probably over about 1.5 stops) and when I first scanned it, it was hard to do much with it and get it to look the way I wanted it to. My photo editing skills have increased ten fold since I made the picture and I was thrilled to be able to clean it up and make the picture look like it should. The sky isn’t quite what it needs to be but for now, I can live with that.

Terry. Meadowbrook Coal Company, Lykens. 2007.

I was always really hesitant to use the handful of photographs I took of people while I was photographing, reluctant to indulge my teachers and peers desire to see the people that inhabit the coal region. The portraits I made, I always felt, weren’t right, weren’t quite good enough, didn’t fit in with the images I was working with. To this day, I look at this picture and I go “I took that?!”.