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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Nineteen: Conveying a Sense of Place – A Town of Ghosts, Frozen in Time > Centuries Apart, Bodie, California, 2004
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Centuries Apart, Bodie, California, 2004

Centuries Apart, Bodie, California, 2004

Past and present collide in this image of Bodie’s east end. 19th century utility poles point skyward at contrails left by 21st century jet aircraft. It is incongruous enough to see contrails this large in the sky, but to be able to juxtapose them with that receding series of old pole certainly strengthens the incongruity in both scale and function. I abstracted the old houses by underexposing them to stress the contrast between the contrails and poles.

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1/1600s f/5.6 at 72.0mm iso80 full exif

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Phil Douglis09-Feb-2012 22:40
Thanks for noting the role played by the smaller poles, Ben. As you, note they have their own story to tell here.
ben neidlinger 06-Feb-2012 01:07
beautiful all the old poles and houses.all poles have a shorter pole at ground stabelizing them.there extremely old and i like that.
Phil Douglis19-Jan-2008 04:41
Yes, this would have been a fine image to end with, Vera. As you note, the image makes us think of what made these people vanish into thin air. But the one I end the essay says something similar, doesn't it? See
saltzman4007-Jan-2008 13:49
The line of poles leading my eye into the unknown causes me to wonder where did all these people go when they left. What path did they take in leaving. Can you imagine, picking up and leaving your home in this way. This could have been a could picture to end with.
Phil Douglis29-Oct-2004 04:17
Glad this image plays with your mind, Lisa. You have a good one, and I like to work it. The poles are a trip in themselves, ghostly reminders of another time, still carrying their now useless wires. I could not resist juxtaposing them with the contrails slashing across the sky, which are, in their own way, just as ephemeral as those silent wires.
Lisa Haskins28-Oct-2004 19:21
Another beautifully appointed image. There is the obvious incongruity of the electricity poles by the old ghost town...but somehow also the fact that the poles seem weathered and "in time" with bodie also make some kind of strong statement......something to do with time not being linear, that everything really does exist at once. Or maybe this is just a late night fantasy. Either way, I like the image and it does say something to me.
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