Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Following in a Master's footsteps

Those of you who regularly read my meanderings have noted, hopefully, my interest in posing my motorcycles in spots where I've found scenery/structures still existing that were photographed in decades past.

Being a history major, I figured that's what came as part of my makeup.

Turns out though, that another guy had similar thoughts and goals! A Mr John Fielder who has followed in the photographical footsteps of William Henry Jackon. Mr Jackson shot many famous shots which made it into the archives of the Denver Public Library; it is mainly this archive that I've drawn from for my "then" shots that I've published so far in this blog.

Mr Fielder published his photos replicating shots made by Mr Jackson back in the late 1800s in a book called: "Colorado 1870-2000". This work was published by Westcliffepublishers.com in partnership with The Colorado Historical Society back in 1999.

John Fielder was commissioned to photograph, in the space of one year, 300 locations replicating selected photographs produced by William H. Jackson between 1870 and 1908.

I discovered all the above when my loving wife, after having seen the "then and now" postings, found the books "Colorado: 1870-2000 II", a sequel to the first book and "Colorado: 1870-2000 Revisited" where the author documents how he got the photos he did!

What a wealth of information these two books are, I must also find the first book of course! Reading these books have given me many leads to more locations all over Colorado for future blog postings. I doubt I'll be able to do as thorough a job as John Fielder since some of the photo-taking locations involved hiking up terrain inaccessible to my motorcycles; still I will come as close as I can to the "then" shots. The "revisited" version will become my bible as it encompasses small pictures of all the photos in the first two books along with information on how he got to the spots!

On the one hand, it was kind of a letdown to see someone else had already blazed this particular trail; but his work will make my explorations that much easier so for that I am grateful.

Here's a link to John Fielder's website: LINK

From the second book's intro: John Fielder is a national renowned nature photographer, publisher, teacher and preservationist. He is the photographer of 36 books, most about Colorado. Fielder has worked tirelessly to promot the protection of Colorado's open space and wildlands. His photography has influenced people and legislation, earning him awards from my conservation groups, including the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award.


Buford Pickleberry said...

Such a great idea. I love ridin with a destination in mind. Look forward to seeing your photos. Only rode CO back in the late 70s and unfortunately haven't been back since on a bike. Hope to do a little run this summer actually. Will read your site for great places to find.

bobskoot said...

I wish we had resources such as this here in BC then I would have an on going project like you. I like to visit old places and often wonder about its history by taking the road less travelled. I've tried to find public domain images of the past - without success. but I'll keep searching. In the meantime, love your OLD and NEW photos

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

I would never give the gentle reader a clue as to my inspiration or unique sources of data. It allows too many amateurs to stiffen the competition.

A good read ans intensely informative, as usual.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Electra Glide In Blue said...

I have Fielder's book "Colorado 1870-2000" and had the honor of meeting the man. I like your then and now post's, and doing it the way you do, is what dreams are made of...Ride Safe,
Electra Glide In Blue