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Phil Douglis | profile | all galleries >> Gallery Eighty-eight: Exploring the historic back roads of the American Southwest tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Gallery Eighty-eight: Exploring the historic back roads of the American Southwest




I live in Phoenix, Arizona. It is always tempting to make pictures in nearby places widely known for their beautiful scenery and natural wonders. The American Southwest is known for its colorful wild west past, as well for its romanticized picture post card imagery. However, more significant photographic opportunities awaited us along some of the historic back roads winding through Arizona, New Mexico, and even into Texas. It is not the stuff of picture post cards that stir the imagination. It is the thrill of discovery itself, and the expressive imagery that can come from it.

Within a span of only six days, we encountered evocative memories of the past in crumbling mining towns, discovered a poignant reminder of the Great Depression, explored several completely abandoned villages, spent hours photographing a wildlife preserve teeming with thousands of birds, viewed a breathtaking sweep of land-locked sand dunes, visited two culturally diverse cities straddling the US-Mexican Border, took the measure of a ghostly grand hotel, and encountered an astounding geological gem deep in the homeland of the Apaches.

I made over two thousand images over these six days, and offer 60 of them in this gallery. I organize the gallery in blog style. A large thumbnail is displayed for each image, along with a caption explaining how I intended to express my ideas. If you click on the large thumbnail, you can see the image in full size, as well as leave comments and read the comments of others. I hope you will be able to participate in the dialogue. I welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions and will be delighted to respond.