Sunday, June 24, 2007

Two Things 2007-06-24

I decided to go a little wild for today's challenge of "Black" and "White." These are two pictures I took on my trip last weekend to Sundown, Texas. It's been a while since I've traveled by myself. I had forgotten the liberating but ethereal quality of being a lone traveler. After I came home and looked at the pictures, I felt it's almost as though you can look at them and deduct that the person who took them was alone.

The first picture is of a diner, closed for the night, in Seminole. I loved the way the interior was lit, but oddly empty. The second picture is of four roadside crosses -- descansos -- taken at a very dangerous intersection, where two farm roads intersect but only one has a stop sign. Donna said it was four teachers who perished there and I assume it was their grieving students who put up and decorated the memorial. These days, it seems to me, descansos serve not only as a private memorial to the deceased, but as a public caution to living drivers.

I wanted to really bring out that quality of aloneness in them for today's challenge, and used Photoshop to that end. To get an idea of what I did -- converting to B&W, cropping, editing out distracting elements, and even straightening the horizon line -- here are the originals:

Here's a site about descansos, which are rather common here out in the American Southwest. Anyone else have them on their roadsides?


Frances said...

Strangely enough, yes. They are quite recent in UK - but you find flowers and various things left - generally including letters from friends. They have become very common when kids or teenagers die on the road - teenagers often gather at the spot and have kind of impromptu memorials. This was unheard of say 10 years ago, so no idea how it came here. It is very common in Mediterranean countries, in fact the have religious shrines in accident black spots.

Rima said...

There are always small, heart-wrenching white crosses on rural roads and crossings it seems.

Beautiful pic of the diner - elegant and poetic. Timeless and incomparable Americana. Love it.

Bobbie said...

Gosh, the black and white images are much more powerful than the color. I like the diner very much, the half-drawn blinds say I am closed and I am lonely.