From the start Barbara wasn't aiming for a strictly pictorial look. "I
deliberately wanted to make the signs look a bit different by the way I composed
the shot or the angle I used. In some cases I did a little work in Photoshop,
getting rid of phone lines or working with the color. I've had people
ask, `Where is that sign? Where is that motel?' And I say, `You
drive by it every day.' And that's what I was looking for."
Barbara photographed with a Nikon D1X and a 28-70mm Zoom-Nikkor. "It
was a lot of fun doing it with the digital camera. I'd just gotten it
and thought it would allow me to be a little bit more creative because I could
come back with the raw files and play around with `em."
Also from the start she had the idea of putting together a little show of the
images. "There are so many coffee shops here in Seattle, and most of them
have rotating shows of art work. I asked around at a couple of the places and
one of them wanted to exhibit prints of the photographs." Barbara made
the prints on her Epson 2000P, framed the images and presented the show as six
signs with Motel 99 spelled out at the top of the display.
So where does the road less traveled lead next? "Once you start noticing
signs, you've set something in motion," Barbara says. "You
can't stop looking at signs, and then you start seeing other things you
didn't see before on different roads. Route 99 runs from Canada to California,
and what I'd love is to travel the highway from top to bottom and shoot
all the signs along the way for a book project."
Note: Barbara's website, www.barbarakinney.com,
features a selection of her photographs, including work from her years in the