Chris Coffey Photographs

Along the River Road, LA

Winter is a favorite time of year for me. It’s the time I enjoy making images the most here in NE Ohio but it is also a very active time for printing new work. By this time of the year I have a stack of file folders filled with new and unprinted negatives that deserve my attention. Someone once said “they are all works of genius until they are printed" and I agree. Sometimes the negative is not as exciting as it was to stand there and the print of that negative even less so. Those are the ones you learn from and pitch. But also in those stacks of file folders are what Ansel called the “supreme instants” and those are the ones that come to life when printed. As the person crafting that print it is as exciting for me as it was standing there in the field making the exposure.

Last winter I locked myself in the darkroom to print the Coastal Defense project - something that needed doing as I was 15 years into walking this subject. I would have been done with the principal photography for this body of work had it not been for my “brush with death on vacation” in August. Working on the remaining forts will have to wait until the spring and summer when they reopen. I will leave the partially completed project up for orders.

In the mean time, I get to work on my regular subjects and will not only work through this last year’s negatives but will "mine" for unprinted “gems” that deserve to live as prints.

This image is the first of the group - made this last fall as I wandered the river road that follows the Mississippi River in LA. Once lined with cotton and sugar cane plantations, the river road still has places that recall a time before. In some cases the plantations have faded away but the trees planted to guide you to them remain and it is not hard to imagine yourself standing there in another life. I hope you enjoy it.

We should give thanks everyday for what we have and I try to be conscious enough to do this. This time of year it seems that we are reminded of it at every turn. I know one of the things I am most thankful for is you, my collectors, who keep me working to find these moments of grace.

Thank you,

Chris Coffey
November 2014