The Art of the Junkyard

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”— Thomas A. Edison

Similarly, it could be said that to create an interesting photograph also requires “a pile of junk.” Back in the 1970’s junkyard art was a popular genre and photographers discovered that these were the ultimate photo op but times change. In a different, less politically correct world you might call this junkyard art but even junkyards themselves these days prefer to think of themselves, as they should, as recycling centers. And often the owners or managers of these centers are not interested—or won’t even allow photography in their business.

Nope, can’t do it anymore. Conscious of their image, most junkyards won’t even let you dig around for parts (although thankfully some will) and if you ask for permission to make photographs the answer will always be “no.” How then did I make this image? The recycling center’s owner’s wife is a photographer and was familiar with my work but most people won’t be that lucky. You can always ask the owner and be nice and show examples of your work to demonstrate that you’re trying to make artistic images. It’s worth a shot.

This is an odd (and old, made in 2006) photograph. It’s odd because these days even a rusted out VW Bus is worth close to $100,000. Yup, I don’t get it either but nostalgia exerts a powerful pull on car values. But why would anybody graft a VW Beetle body on top of a VW bus? One can come up with many scenarios, none of them likely the truth.

The image was shot with a Samsung GX-1S back when they made cameras. Lens was an smc Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL and was captured with an exposure of 1/180 sec at f/11 and ISO 200. Image was processed in Topaz Texture Effects software.

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