Let me first tell you about a wonderful and special place. Nestling on the banks of the Cowlitz River (by which there are life preservers for the foolhardy to borrow) is the small town of Toledo, Washington. Advertisement on the nearby freeway entices the traveller to head to Toledo for dipped beef sandwich and a locally brewed beer. By then, dear traveller, you will be ensnared in the charms of Toledo. Some may scoff and tell you there is nothing there but believe me they are wrong. There is a witch tied to a lamppost, a sinister yellow Ford Mustang, a gas station with trucks and fishing gear, a large Baptist church with terrifying signage and a road. This road takes you all the way to Mount St Helens.
When you near the end of the road you reach Coldwater Lake, which was formed when the mountain erupted. All the images on the post were either made at Coldwater Lake or on that special road. I travelled this road with Jana Obscura, a most talented photographer and incredibly gracious host. From tolerating the change from Quittin’ time to JPop on the car stereo to trying not to freak out when the phone signal went Jana managed it all and I am forever in her debt.
But what the heck is a greying Brit doing in Washington (and Oregon) in the first place? Well, remember that trip I took to Amsterdam last year for WPPD 2014? Well WPPD 2015 was spent in Portland Oregon, and that aforementioned freeway took us to Portland from Jana’s home in Seattle. Many incredible pinhole photographers and friends live in Portland, and many more visited for this amazing weekend. From all corners of the globe they came, they ate, they drank and they laughed. I cannot think of a better way to spend WPPD, and you know what, next year we do it all again in Barcelona.
I’ll post more about the trip soon, and talk more about the folks who were there, and show a little more of what I made. At this point I’ll just make special mention of the amazing Penny Felts who gave me courage to continue shooting this instant film, without her these shots may never have happened.
Otherwise, I just want to remember that small bar, the in-progress copper top and the customer with the ice-washed denim tuxedo. Jana, we’ll always have Toledo…this one’s for you!