Lori Carey Photography

Monday, June 2, 2014

Carrizo Plain Grain Thresher

Grain thresher, Carrizo Plain National Monument

I can't help but think of ships every time I see these threshers, great giant ships sailing vast golden seas of grain.
I know that this one is currently sitting on a barren expanse of desert sand, but work with me here.

When I visited the Goodwin Education Center last month during my visit to Carrizo Plains I learned that all of the old farming equipment scattered throughout the area might not be there much longer because of the solar energy plan. As explained to us by one of the rangers, many of the old farms are located in areas that are protected for birds and wildlife, but there is no protection status in place for the historical cultural artifacts on the lands that are now owned by the solar company. At best, if someone wants to spend the money, some might be moved to exhibits, at worst they might be removed and destroyed. This breaks my heart because seeing something in a museum, or behind a fence with an interpretive sign nearby, doesn't compare to seeing it in situ and letting your imagination run free, envisioning what life was truly like back then and how hard it must have been to scratch out a living.

If you're truly in it for more than just the sake of making photos, if you care passionately about the subjects you photograph, it is a bittersweet feeling. There is a sense of honor and respect in knowing that you just might be documenting some of the final days of an important piece of our culture and history, and a feeling of profound loss knowing the same. It instills a sense of urgency.

That is why I like to create both documentary images and fine art creative images. This is what it looks like; I hope to return soon (under different weather conditions) to capture what it feels like.

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