Sorry, We're Closed

Capturing the Dead and Dying Towns of America

#Photography

Fri, Oct 19th, 2012 10:00 by capnasty NEWS

Marshall Sokoloff, an American photographer currently living in Toronto, has been spending a significant portion of the last four years travelling around the U.S. and taking photos of the "dead and dying towns of America, leaving the viewer to ask 'why?'". Head over to his page to read the details of how he manages to be on the road for this long. More photos here.

I plan to spend most nights camping ("boondocking") so I'll be exactly where I want to be at dawn. I have equipment for the basics - toilet, shower, cooler, water, etc. so I'm well set up for survival. I function just fine without a cup of hot coffee in the morning, but a cold splash of water on my face is nice. I eat, but not heavily, and I'd rather eat nothing than junk food. My mobile office also includes secondary back-up and picture previewing, and even mobile uploading where wifi exists (ie McDonalds parking lots).

As far as dangers go, in this day and age, beyond those that are thugs, vandals, or those protecting illegal operations, I have to count on my past extensive experience to stay out of trouble, and what to say and do to GET out of trouble. I'm still here. Just as big a danger is "Johnny Law". Small town law enforcement can be pretty bored and I might provide their entertainment for the day. Again, this is an experience thing, what you say and do at first encounter will very much dictate how things will go. I've had local cops threaten to charge me with vagrancy despite sleeping in a truck carrying about $100k in goods, trespassing, disturbing the peace, etc.

Feigning ignorance is always the first line of defense, even if your rights are being trampled on. Escalation (ie arrest) means having a civil rights attorney on retainer (I do) and adequate funds easily accessible to pay outrageous fines to get out of there (I will). Another tactic, is to show the police what you've photographed in the last little while, and erase the card in front of them. I back up quite often, and it's unlikely that I would lose many shots that way, by using a bunch of small CF cards instead of say a 16GB card that holds almost 1000 shots. Erasing that many shots without a back-up would make me feel suicidal.

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