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The Palouse

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Roger Rex View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The Palouse
    Posted: 30 June 2020 at 18:13
I have put together an artist statement and ten images for submission to an exhibition. What follows is the artist statement and the photos. Some of the images have been seen here before, usually in color.

The Palouse is an agricultural region in northwestern United States encompassing areas primarily in southeastern Washington and north central Idaho. Family farms abound on the rolling hills, sometimes referred to as the Tuscany of America. Whitman County in Washington, located in the heart of the area, is the largest wheat producing county in the United States. Other significant crops are lentils, barley and chick peas. The region is a microcosm of America’s farming landscape that has seen in recent years fewer farms, consolidation into much larger farms, a reduction in people living on farms as young people move to escape the economic decline and an increase in bankruptcies. And most troubling, an increase in suicides.

The twin forces of advancing technology and globalization affect many sectors of the economy, but none, perhaps, more so than the family farm. Add to these challenges the more frequent severe weather due to climate change, trade wars and the rise in large scale corporate farms and the family farm is in the eye of the perfect storm. Many of these farms trace their family history to the 1800’s and much of the landscape is dotted with the architectural archaeology reflecting their history.

There is a jolting contrast between the Palouse’s gently rolling hills and their artistically sculpted curving crop lines with the harsh reality of the tough life, changing fortunes and family legacies lost.

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10


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waldo_posth View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote waldo_posth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 June 2020 at 19:41
An excellent, truly impressive collection, Roger. I would give it the cut.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote AsD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2020 at 10:04
Originally posted by waldo_posth waldo_posth wrote:

An excellent, truly impressive collection, Roger. I would give it the cut.



+1

A fantastic and thought provoking collection, not least the vehicular gallows of #5.
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pegelli View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote pegelli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2020 at 10:10
Roger, I think I have seen most of these (or maybe even all of them) before, but as a set together and processed consistently it's even more impressive. Also the artist statement is very fitting to the series. Great work!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote owenn01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2020 at 10:13
Hi Roger,

You know my views on The Palouse by now and these images especially having seen them (and admired them long and hard) over time.

As a series they will most likely work very well. I think you need to consider not only what to hang but, more importantly, in what order to hang these as a series or collection.

I think these work together well as they are with the possible exception of #'s 1 and 10 which, as an exhibition series, I may be inclined to swap for each other. Why? well, #1 seems to me to be much more a 'closing down' of the series whilst #10 is an 'opening the view' sort of shot? Of course, you may have other ideas and views of what the shots mean (which would be interesting in themselves). However, I have seen plenty of Print Series succeed (and fail) by poor planning and positioning of the prints so they 'flow' as a group. It also depends as well on whether they are shown in line or as a group (5 x 2; square etc) as to which print 'works' better where in the series.

Whatever, I wish you every success with this and I am so, so pleased you are seeing much deserved recognition in this medium.

Take care, stay safe and well and best regards, Neil.
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Roger Rex View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2020 at 11:30
Thanks all for the comments.

pegelli - "processed consistently" - I have done this a few times before with a series, but for me this is a challenge and is necessary to have them work together, especially when they include quite different subject matter (e.g., not all landscapes). If I had to guess, I think #'s 1 and 9 have not been shown here before but I am not sure. I would trust your memory before mine because you must be younger!

owenn01 - Sequencing is very important and, in this case with quite different subject matter, a challenge made more difficult by including both horizontal and vertical images. The first and last images could be exchanged as you stated and was my inclination because I think the last image is a stronger, more interesting image. I had not thought of your reason for reversing them and I like that reasoning. A counter might be is that this is not a bright, pleasant, pretty story and thus should not be opened with a brighter image - just thinking on the spot here. That is the thinking that caused me to go with black and white rather than color. I have many very colorful images of the Palouse. Ultimately, I went with the image you see as the first based on the advice of the Hesslers, a husband and wife team from whom I was taking an online class (under their list of workshops, see "Project Launch"). I trust their judgment, they were adamant, and are far more experienced in this matter than I am. I HIGHLY recommend them to anyone who is considering an online photography workshop (they have other offerings). They are well organized, very imaginative and creative and are enthusiastic and simply very, very nice folks. I had previously taken an in-person workshop with them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Jozioau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2020 at 13:28
Roger,
For me this is a masterful visual essay mage up of highest quality photographic artworks.
As others have commented, we have had the pleasure of seeing some of these before, but the way you have assembled them into this sequence makes for a powerful whole.
Wonderful monochrome processing seems just right for the subject matter, and I love the variation in subject matter from sweeping landscapes (including cloudscapes) to ramshackle architecture to dark interiors, often brightened with a glimpse to the outside.
This really deserves to be seen by a wide and appreciative audience - both on the walls of a gallery and perhaps in published form?
All the very best with it all.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Hezu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2020 at 14:13
I like this series. Although I can see the merits of the B&W usage, somehow I am also wondering what would be the colours be like in the outdoor landscapes (numbers 2-5).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote MartyMoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 July 2020 at 16:02
Really enjoy these, especially in B&W. TFS
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Robbie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 July 2020 at 14:33
Very impressive series and informativ text, thanks for sharing.
First the pictures seemed a bit dark to me but after increasing the brightness of my monitor they started to shine inspite of their (intended) darkness. Very well done Roger, all the best for the exhibition.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Roger Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 July 2020 at 14:37
Hezu - Maybe in the next week or so I will post a group of color images. It is a spectacular, colorful landscape before the June harvest.

MartyMoose - Tri-Cities, you are very close to the Palouse region. I have been white water rafting somewhat near you on the Deschutes River and had a sister-in-law and niece who went to Whitman College (?) in Walla Walla but I have never been there.
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paso144 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote paso144 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 July 2020 at 14:42
Nice set Roger, TFS
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Post Options Post Options   Quote skm.sa100 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 July 2020 at 15:54
A wonderful set, Roger. I remember your earlier Palouse images.

I totally dig the greyscale processing. A good study in tones, contrasts, composition, lighting, shadows, framing, frame-within-a-frame, and shapes. I might've missed other aspects.

Each image is a good one in its own right.

TFS
Sashi

Edited by skm.sa100 - 02 July 2020 at 16:15
More Dyxumer, less photographer.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote angora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 July 2020 at 11:39
+1!

love everything, also the (his)story you are depicting (except for the bankruptcies and suicides. :'-( the struggle and obv. loss of values sounds familiar).
this exhibition will be a treat! suppose your pics will be even more impressive as large format prints on the wall. (any wall. selling material?).
love your PW, think it also adds greatly!
truly wonderful series!!!
(did you ever consider a book?)



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