Without a Trace

Photography by Robert Dowling

Shot in New Jersey on a custom made 11" X 14" Wisner camera using a shutterless Goertz 1000mm Len's manufactured in 1916. It was a depth of field test prior to an automotive shoot. The stop was f180, maybe a little more,difficult to say as unmarked past f120. Exposure required removing and replacing the lens cap for a second or two.

It was an extremely hot and humid August day with sun filtered through the polluted atmosphere at 90 degrees to the right. Whilst scanning the ultra large ground glass screen with a magnifier it became apparent that the seemingly mundane street had more of interest than at first glance.

There is a story going on. On every telegraph pole is poster for a missing girl. Did she go missing from Cave, the laptop bar across the street from the Diner? Can it be the girl on the sidewalk who is missed by the speeding police car? Why is this place important enough for the monstrous cathedral to be built? Was it ever really prosperous? The wires and power lines signify a busy metropolis but are also a sign of ugly decline. Would you want this as your Main Street?

From the camera's point of view after shooting two sheets of film beside a weedy sidewalk next to a boarded and abandoned warehouse, the answer was let's move on.

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