El Paso (Before/After)
There’s a street corner in El Paso, Texas, that Stephen Shore photographed in 1975. The picture appeared in his book, “Uncommon Places.”
Even at the time, Shore’s photography was a cataloging of the kinds of things that were doomed to vanish; wallpaper, street corners, truck stop restrooms. His pictures were down the road from Greil Marcus’ “Old Weird America” and just shy of the multiplex and big box store. I visited El Paso a few weeks ago, and the location bears little resemblance to the Shore photo. Here’s what it looks like from above (pic links to a flickrmap):
Here’s Shore’s picture. Note the large brick building on the left of the frame, and the small, historical marker in the foreground:
Above and beyond the merits of Shore’s picture as a photograph, there are few key things that have changed in the last 31 years.
- The street that the pedestrian is waiting to cross has been filled-in and is now cement, part of an extended memorial area
- The (rootless, planterless) tree is gone
- The marker has been turned into a larger memorial/statue area
- The front facade of the large brick hotel remains, and has been added onto, after demolition of the Capri Theater and Payless Drugs
- The parking lot on the left is larger and the liquor store is gone
Here’s a crude cellphone video of what it looks like now:
For StartersWays of Working, a 10-step introduction to the ins-and-outs of street photography with only nine steps. Or, look at Resources & Discussions.
- “Foreign & Domestic” at Columbus State University, March 12th - April 19th
- New Winogrand Restrospective 2013-2015
- Chuck Patch Discovers Winogrand’s 1964 Worlds’ Fair Women at Boston Museum of Fine Arts
- A JPG Transcript of Jacques Derrida on Photography and Not Being Photographed
- Same Same But Different
- “Street Photography Now” Fails to Cite Sources
- Winogrand/Papageorge MIT Transcription
- Street Photography Now (printer’s proof)
- Reconsidering Winogrand
- Does Haiti’s Crisis Call for a New Photojournalism?