October 19, 2012

"Andrew Filer has photographed every single named place in the state of North Dakota."

"From cities and towns to unincorporated places, ghost towns, and the wide, empty spaces between, he visited more than 875 locations across this sparsely populated state."

Nicely done. Very instructive on how to photograph places.


tiger said...

Bummed. I was thinking about something along these lines for Wisconsin.

But good on him for doing it!

edutcher said...

A labor of love.

Known Unknown said...

Beautiful ... and American.

I still want to do a project of photographing a series of churches that have those little customizable signs in front with different corny sayings and proverbs, and give people their own sort-of magnetic poetry version of a sign to create their own sayings.

Like: Forbidden fruits create many jams.

Sorun said...

The thought of living there makes me want to take up drinking.

Chuck66 said...

Just the past week I drove across much of Wisconsin. The stretch from Neillsville to Wisconsin Rapids, and then on to Green Bay via Waupaca was quite pretty. Kind of wished I had stopped to photograph some of the things I saw:

-A house painted entirely in Green and Gold for the Packers
-Giant cows (fiberglass and metal)
-"Proud Papermaker" signs in front lawns in Nekoosa and Wisc Rapids
-A few imaginative anti-Obama signs

Things like that.

SteveR said...

Nicely done but at least for the 38 pictures at the link there were no shots of snow and ice, North Dakota, right?

Methadras said...

What's missing is, The Larch!!!

Hagar said...

Wasn't that first church in a Clint Eastwood movie?

Irene said...

No signs of North Dakota's economic boom.

Strelnikov said...

Did he have to sneak up on and/or chase some of them down? Because I can't imagine the value of this otherwise.

madAsHell said...

Apparently, a guy named Miller runs the granary in Fairmont, North Dakota.

Who'da thunk it!!

PfMoen said...

My hometown is in one!


PfMoen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Titus said...

Thanks for these pics.

Now I can cross North Dakota off my bucket list.


Wince said...

"Flea-bitten range bums usually don't stop in Lago. Life here's a little too quick for 'em. Maybe you think you're fast enough to keep up with us, huh?"

"A lot faster than you'll ever live to be."

AllenS said...

Chuck66, I've driven across vast sections of WI, and if you go to the less traveled places, you'll discover that WI is attracting huge numbers of Amish.

Sam L. said...

I've been to Minot. "Why Not Minot?"

Freezin's the reason.

ricpic said...

Naked are the plains
Where you're the tallest thing for miles around,
Naked on the plains
Where every muscle longs to go to ground.

Unknown said...

Thank you Anne
4 your photos !!!!
from a WI vet
who ended up in CA
trying to teach thugs to read

Unknown said...

Thank you Anne
4 your photos !!!!
from a WI vet
who ended up in CA
trying to teach thugs to read

TML said...

I'm baffled and freaked that this photo series made me weep.

MadisonMan said...

Great pictures. Incredible vistas. Makes me want to move there. Then I think of early and late snows, and come to my senses.

Sydney said...

The "Town that Blew Away" made me sad, but the church with the "No Trespassing" sign made me laugh - "Trespassers will be shot. Survivors will be shot again."

Synova said...

The wind blew a little country church near my hometown off it's foundation. My dad told me how far off but I don't remember.

Supposedly my grandpa and his brother (who had built the thing) looked it over and decided that if God wanted it back on the foundation He could blow it back.

And He did.

wyo sis said...

I had the same reaction. I'm not sure if it's the evocation of place, or loneliness, a sense of something lost but something about them chokes me up too.

Dave said...
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Dave said...

Sometimes these little towns have interesting stories. Take Columbus, ND for example. It’s on the list. My Great Uncle George Keup’s name is chiseled into the orphaned cornerstone sitting in front of the bank sign with the 1906 founding date. George was president of both the school board and the bank, and later on was mayor. But that’s the way it went in these little places. Columbus never topped 500 residents, so lots of people got in on the act. In 1931, in the depths of the Depression, after the bank closed due to a run, a man named Henry Frazen burned down his own barn to collect the insurance. There was an investigation that determined Henry did it, so he was, naturally, denied. Uncle George, who also happened to be the insurance agent in Columbus, had the unfortunate duty of giving Henry the bad news. Henry took exception to the decision and shot and killed Uncle George. He said he was coming after my grandfather too, for good measure (Grandpa was George’s partner in the bank). Well, my grandfather had recently moved his family to Montana and the law caught up with Henry right away. He spent the rest of his life in prison, but my mother had nightmares for years about Henry coming after her dad. Small town North Dakota.

Clyde said...

So many bleak pictures! In a way, it reminds me of the those "World Without People" shows. The pictures are devoid of people and many show their works falling to pieces. They make you sad because you know that once upon a time, those places were someone's dreams, and the dreams failed. The winds sighing through the unpainted ruins are a litany of failure.

Emil Blatz said...

I made it to 34, then was fatigued, and quit.

themightypuck said...

Some parts of ND are booming due to the oil shale. Williston for instance. I'd like to see a picture from a widescreen birdseye to compare with the close up worms eye.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The thought of living there makes me want to take up drinking.

I love wide open vistas. Able to see for miles and miles.

You can drink anywhere. But why not do it where you are free and not boxed in by thousands of people?

Don't fence me in!!!!

rcommal said...

Could there be a better name than Andrew Filer for someone who accomplishes such as this? I think not!

Big : )

Joe Schmoe said...

Hauntingly melancholic.

It's like a bomb or disease wiped out everyone 50 years ago.

Jim Howard said...

The structure in Hanks has an old glass tube gas pump in it.

Those are very valuable, I bet it's already been stolen.

Aridog said...

Interesting use of a very wide angle lens, full frame images, and Adobe Lightroom to crop and achieve an effect similar to a tilt/shift lens....along with just plain excellent use of the wide angle.

I note he is using "Kickstarter" for a funding source for the project. I have friends that use it as well...and I've contributed. But I am dubious. Only reason I know it isn't a scam, at least in my friends' case is that I know them and they're not scammers. Hell, they may be scammed by Kickstarter, for all I know.

"Kickstarter" has one highly irritating quirk, to me at least, grossly misleading, and that is their published individual contributors and dollars never frigging match the totals published on the same dang page. The usual excuse, if you deign to ask, is "many wonderful donors" contributed without asking for anything. Say what?

Who asked for anything...Kickstarter offered it! Kickstarter used their spiel as inducement to pledge more money. Fair enough, but why not "count" the "wonderful folks" as donors in the ordinary set up? Or give them parallel no-reward classifications, if "status" is the objective?

In other words, thanks for your measly contribution shmuck, but you just aren't in the elite class.

Problem: The stated "goal" of X dollars is meaningless and so are the tally counts on the site. Donors can be induced to donate far more than necessary to reach the goal. Never mind that, even if the goal isn't reached, voila' the "pedges" can be/are cashed and you are advised on the main page the goal has been meet...even when the actual count in the tally is 70% out of whack...using math a 3rd grade slow learner could master.

If Kickstarter doesn't like my comments, they can contact me directly (my email is in my profile)...since I can find no convenient direct way to contact them without joining up or insulting my friends directly.

Meanwhile .... Caveat Emptor

Aridog said...

Anohter "Kickstarter" artist: Thistle of Madison, Wisconsin. Remember her?

Now sweet Lil' Thistle had a total of 38 contributers for $2,070 total announced with a minimum target of $2000 or no activation of pledges. The sidebar tally only adds up to 32 folks contributing less than $100 and 1 contributing $100 "or more." Total sidebar tally is $895.

The "phantom 5 donors" had to have kicked in an average of $235 each to reach the $2070 mark announced with thus activate all pledge payments.

Credibility of Kickstarter is further strained in this case, eh?

Is it a scam? You tell me.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in ND, and still return several times a year. Be slightly cautious about taking too much from these photos. It's not that they're outright fabrications, but they're chosen to present a particular theme.

For example, let's take Grafton, ND. The midtown motel is a bit run down, but keep in mind that there's a brand new AmericInn, and a SelectInn out there as well (in a town less than 5,000 people). He seems genuinely fascinated by the kutz & obrien sign, nearly half of his pictures in that town are of the same sign. This boarded-up former drug store is now a bustling local restaurant, and has been for several years at this point.

Grand Forks is a town with a 10,000 student college, that happens to have one of the best flight schools in the country. This must have been taken at something like 7am to see that few cars at the Gateway/Washington intersection.

It's particularly bizarre to see the scenes from the western side of the state, which is currently undergoing an oil boom. The state has less than 3% unemployment at last count, and has enough of a budget surplus that there was a serious fight to repeal the state income tax last year.