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Phil Douglis | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Seventy Five: The ghost town – a travel photo-essay tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Gallery Seventy Five: The ghost town – a travel photo-essay

As demonstrated in Gallery Eleven, a travel photo-essay is a group of photographic impressions that cumulatively add up to more meaning than a series of “stand-alone” images. It differs from a picture story, which is narrative in form and relies heavily on text and captions for its meaning. A travel photo-essay is essentially symbolic and interpretive in form – the accompanying words can offer context, but images worthy of the essay form usually communicate meaning on their own. Each image adds its impression to the whole. In this example of a travel photo-essay, I offer thirteen images made over a two-day period in the late spring of 2010 at the ghost town of Bannock, Montana. Bannack was a 19th century gold mining camp that at one time housed 3,000 people. The gold rush ended in the 20th century, and after World War II, the town’s last residents moved away. Various civic groups have struggled for fifty years to preserve its abandoned buildings – freezing them in time and in various states of disrepair. Under the supervision of Montana’s Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, this fragile ghost town is now presented exactly as it looked a half century ago. This essay offers the viewer a look into what has come to be a haunted place – one of the most remarkable “time capsules” in the US, if not the world. I have sequenced the photographs so that each impression takes from what has gone before and projects meaning into those that follow.

I present this gallery, as usual, in "blog" style. A large thumbnail is displayed for each image, along with a caption explaining how I intended to express my ideas. If you click on the large thumbnail, you can see it in its full size, as well as leave comments and read the comments of others. I hope you will be able to participate in the dialogue. I welcome your comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions, and will be delighted to respond.