The Railroad and The Art of Place

The Railroad and the Art of Place is a 152-page, 11 x 11-inch hardbound book printed in lush duotone that features photographs made by David Kahler, FAIA, with design and editing by Jeff Brouws and Wendy Burton. In the late 1980s, Kahler was deeply inspired by seeing an exhibition of O. Winston Link photographs. He soon began making annual trips to the West Virginia and eastern Kentucky coalfields, destinations that strongly resonated with his own aesthetic of “place.” Armed with a used Leica M6 and gritty Tri-X film, he and his wife made six week-long trips in the dead of winter to photograph trains along the Pocahontas Division of the Norfolk Southern Railway. Nearly one hundred images edited from this body of work form the core of The Railroad and the Art of Place, along with a selection of earlier Pennsylvania Railroad steam-era photographs that reflect Kahler’s interest in the railroad landscape from an early age. The volume also contains three essays (by Kahler, Scott Lothes, and Jeff Brouws) discussing the personal motivations, historical context, and aesthetic development behind the photography. With funding for printing provided by the Kahler Family Charitable Fund, all sales will go to support the Center’s work. Limited edition of 1,000.

$60 plus $7 for domestic shipping, hardcover, 11×11 inches, 152 pages, duotone

The Railroad and the Art of Place, by David Kahler

International shipping is available; please inquire by email at info [at] railphoto-art.org

Worldwide Winners of the 2016 Awards Program

Simon Jowett of the United Kingdom (above) and Olaf Haensch of Germany and have won first prize in the 2016 John E. Gruber Creative Photography Awards Program, in the “mobile device” and “most evocative” categories, respectively. Haensch won previously in 2008 and took second in 2009; Jowett is a first-time entrant. Second prizes went to Slovenia’s Miško Kranjec—another past winner—for “evocative,” and first-time entrant Ryder Bechtold of Denver, Colorado, for “mobile.” Charles McCreary of Minnesota and Jeremy J. Schrader of Illinois received the third prize awards, rounding out the top winners. Additionally, the judges selected a total of thirty-one images in their two “Also Liked” categories. We will soon add additional submissions for public viewing in a first-time web gallery.

Each of the three judges remarked that this year’s field was especially competitive, and that picking the winners was extremely difficult. The 331 entries came from 141 photographers living in more than thirty different states and ten countries—the second-most submissions all-time in a CRPA contest. After reviewing the images on their own, the judges spent more than four hours discussing and debating their final decisions. All of us at the Center extend our congratulations to the winners, thank the judges for their time and efforts, and thank everyone who submitted. Your work inspires us, and we can hardly wait to see what you will do next.

See all of the winners and read the judges’ commentary on the 2016 Awards page.

First Place: Simon Jowett

First Place: Olaf Haensch

Conversations Northeast

The Center’s first regionally-themed conference about railroad photography and art, Conversations Northeast, was a great success. Attendance was 115 for the one-day event, held on October 29, 2016, at the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Attendees came from fifteen different states. The conference, co-hosted by Archives & Special Collections of the UConn Library, featured seven presentations and three exhibitions at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. In the view at right, presenter Victor Hand shared his diesel-era photographs from the northeastern U.S. and around the world in “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Diesel.” Photograph by Steve Barry, Railfan & Railroad. See more photographs on the conference page.
Victor Hand