Graffiti, Olympia, Washington, 1985


I’m going through old scrapbooks and albums to find photos to put onto Flickr. Lots of my photos are in terrible shape and I don’t want to lose them completely. This one is scanned from a contact sheet that is not in good condition — I don’t have a good full-size print of it any more and I’m not sure if I still have the negative, though it might be in a notebook in one of my boxes o’ junk.

Anyway, I was prowling downtown Olympia on a dark cloudy day in 1985, looking for something I could photograph for Bob Haft’s Experimental Photography class at Evergreen. The due date was the next day and I had procrastinated as usual. I turned a corner into an alley and found this graffiti. When I developed the photo, it didn’t look like Olympia; it seemed like something from a war zone in the 1940s.

I made a hand-colored print (which has since been destroyed), and turned that in for my assignment. This is one of my favorite photographs (though it’s not very cheery, is it?), so I hope I can find the negative and get some real prints made again sometime. Because this is scanned from the contact sheet, it looks even more vintage and unreal than the print did; it’s got a touch of blurriness and noise.

I’ve got some other old photos up at Flickr now and I might post more of them here on the blog soon.

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