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A Chevrolet HHR with a decal that says POWERED BY BITCH covering the rear window.
I found this car in the parking lot of the Kroger store in the Waynedale area of Fort Wayne. I am continually amazed at the number of people in our society who take pride in having nasty personalities.

Here’s another I have just scanned from my huge backlog of film. I photographed this car back in September, 2014.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Foster Park suspension Bridge #2

The suspension bridge over the Saint Marys River at Foster Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Photographed from the middle of the narrow footbridge on a snowy January evening.
A view from the middle of the old suspension footbridge over the Saint Mary’s River in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The park, one of the biggest in Fort Wayne, occupies a large curve in the river on the city’s south side. I was looking west, away from the park and toward the Bluffton Road side of the bridge.

This is the second of the five photographs that I made last week of the 95 year old suspension bridge over the river in Foster Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Foster Park suspension Bridge #1

Graffiti that says SQUAD painted on the suspension bridge over the Saint Marys River at Foster Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
This graffiti is on the Foster Park side of the old suspension footbridge over the Saint Mary’s River in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The park, one of the biggest in Fort Wayne, occupies a large curve in the river on the city’s south side. This bridge, built around 1920, is something of a hidden treasure. It is in a heavily wooded area of the park, far from the playgrounds, golf course, and flower gardens that bring most visitors to Foster Park. The only way to reach it from the park is to hike through the woods on a primitive dirt trail. The other end of the bridge is at the base of a steep set of stairs leading up to Bluffton Road. The part of the road that the bridge reaches is far from both the residential areas and shopping centers nearby. The bridge is about 20 feet lower than the road, and surrounded by tall trees, making it invisible from the road! A lot of people on the south side refer to the Foster Park suspension bridge as “The Swinging Bridge” because it bounces and sways if you jump up and down in the middle of the span.

Last week, I made several photographs of the historic Foster Park Suspension Bridge. Built around 1920, it is a long, narrow footbridge over the Saint Mary’s River in a remote wooded area of one of the largest parks in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This is the first of them, I have several more to post later.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

My Neighbor’s Race Car

A wrecked Chevrolet Lumina race car with front end collision damage sits behind a house on Arbor Avenue in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
This race car, an old Chevrolet Lumina with a wrecked front end, sits behind a house on Arbor Avenue, next to the Sandpoint Road trailer park. The man who owns it used to drive it on northeast Indiana race tracks, including the now-closed Baer Field Speedway in Waynedale.

Northeast Indiana has a lot of amateur race car drivers who race at small speedways in many small towns. This one, which I photographed last week,  belongs to one of my neighbors in Fort Wayne.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Lease 2 Own

A handmade sign that says Lease 2 Own is nailed to a tree in the front yard of a house on Tyrone Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
This house is on Tyrone Road, just north of where I live, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The handmade sign nailed to the big tree in the front yard says, “Lease 2 Own. $1500 down, $752 a month.” The phone number is for a property management company in South Carolina that has houses for sale all over the United States. In Fort Wayne, Lease-To-Own house sales are usually a feature of impoverished neighborhoods. This neighborhood, where I grew up, has always been a mix of middle class and working class families. This isn’t a good sign for the future, but with few decent jobs left here, it is not surprising.

Here is another photograph I made in my neighborhood yesterday afternoon.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Proud Union Home

A sign that says Proud Union Home in front of a house on Tyrone Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
This house is on Tyrone Road, just north of where I live, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The woman who lives there told me that her husband, a factory worker, got the “Proud Union Home” sign at work.

I photographed this house in my neighborhood earlier this afternoon.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

The Importance Of Photographing Things That Mean Something To You

I wrote about what I think makes photographs interesting in a discussion on Rangefinder Forum about “Street Photography.” I thought it was something that others might find interesting.

I was responding specifically to the following post by RFF member Keith Goldstein

The arts, photography, etc., is about one’s experience in life. No one can duplicate that. It’s how you feel about yourself. It’s how you feel about your place in the world.

My response to Keith is below.

I agree with you, and I think this is why so much ‘street’ photography we see is so emotionally and intellectually empty. There are a lot of hobbyist photographers, generally men with a lot of money who buy a Leica and feel that they have to be the next Cartier-Bresson.

The problem is, they’re not HCB, and more importantly, they feel no connection to or interest in the subject matter. They go snap random photos of people on the street, but they feel no connection to the people they ‘shoot’, and it shows in their photos.

The people who were truly great at street photography were people who were genuinely interested in the people and places they photographed. That is the key, not just in street photography, but ANY genre of photography.

Look at my work; it is about the places I have lived. I have added, in the last few years, several hundred photos to my web portfolio. I can count maybe 50 that were not made in either the city of Fort Wayne, or the county where the city is located (Allen County, Indiana).

In Fort Wayne, a large percentage were done in Waynedale, a part of Fort Wayne that was once an independent small town before being annexed by the city in 1957. I grew up in Waynedale, and though I lived in some other parts of the city for a time (and in New Mexico for a couple of years), I ended up back in Waynedale. A couple months ago, I came even closer to ‘home’ when I left my apartment in Waynedale and moved into the house that had been my grandparents’ house. The house my mom grew up in. My parents live around the block in the same neighborhood.

My work is compelling because I am not photographing ‘strangers’. Even if I have never met them before, my subjects are people who share my city, my neighborhood, and their culture. There’s a connection that I have with the people and places I document, and I share that connection with YOU, the viewer of my work.

Find that connection in YOUR work, and you’ll speak to your audience in a way that makes them WANT to listen.

You can read the entire thread on RFF: Let Us Talk Street.

Road Through The Fog #2

A long gravel road leading to a forest in the distance on a foggy morning.
The morning of September 26, 2014 was very foggy. This scene is on the west side of Bluffton Road, next to the Fraternal Order of Eagles bowling alley, in the Waynedale area of Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Here’s the second photograph that I made on the very foggy morning of September 26, 2014. The fog lasted only a short time, and a lot of it had lifted by the time I made this photograph, a few minutes after the first.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Farmhouse on North Clinton Street

A porch swing by the front door of an old white farmhouse in rural Allen County, Indiana.
The house is at the corner of North Clinton Street and Mayhew Road near Leo-Cedarville in northwest Allen County, Indiana. I photographed it the first time at the beginning of 2014, when the swing was completely encased in thick ice that anchored the swing to the floor of the porch!

 

I made the photograph above on December 13, 2014. The photograph below is the one I made at the beginning of 2014, when the swing was covered in ice.

An old white farmhouse with a porch swing that is covered in ice and snow.
I have never seen a house whose porch had as much ice on it as this one had. The swing was firmly anchored to the floor of the porch by thick stalactites of frozen water. There was a broken pipe on the ground next to the porch that erupted with a spray of water every couple of minutes, which is visible on the right side of this photograph. It was the source of the water that formed the swing’s frozen coating.

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©2015 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.