Sunday, April 05, 2009
This old wrecker truck was my muse during evenings on the Cumberland Plateau in south central Tennessee last week. I spent the daylight hours wandering some of the backroads or exploring hiking trails that provided views of high bluffs, rocky coves and roaring streams tumbling over stony outcroppings while making their way down to the valleys 1000 feet below.
When night fell, I turned my attention to several abandoned trucks on the property adjacent to the place my wife and I stayed. I experimented with an old flash unit, which I fired by hand while walking around the vehicles during long exposures. Clear moonless nights on the plateau revealed an amazing array of stars, which I wanted to capture.
The plateau is wild and rugged. The people who live in small towns are descendents of the first settlers who tried to wrest a living from the rocky soils, abundant trees and veins of coal in the area. Some succeed, many fail, as attested by the numerous decrepit shacks along the roadways. At the same time, development is creeping atop the plateau as people discover a place to build second homes in advance of their retirement.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'll share photographs and thoughts picked up from one of the largest geographical areas of its kind in the world -- and one that most people have never heard of.
Photo info: Exposure - 1 1/2 minutes at f5.6, ISO 400. Hand-held flash unit fired six times - three times at the front and side of the truck, twice inside the cab with a blue filter placed over the light and once under the hood. Photograph © 2009 James Jordan.