Berlin Turnpike Day Vs Night – 13 – Surplus Nothing

When I think back on my childhood, I remember the hot summer nights. Summer’s overbearing heat combined with a blanket of darkness, creating a unique dimension. I would lay in bed sweating, window open; my fan buzzing like a plane propeller struggling to keep its cargo airborne.

Cutting through all that was this sound–machines of power bellowing angrily into the night. I would lay there and fall asleep to the lull of this sound. I can still hear it. The sounds of cars drag racing relentlessly into the dead of night.

I grew up down the street from a turnpike; The Berlin Turnpike. It was–and still is–a place full of energy, life, and traffic. Before interstate highways, this was a thriving artery for travel from New York City to Boston. It was deemed the halfway point for travelers going all the way from one city to the next. Business boomed: Hotels, Motels, restaurants, and shopping centers. When the interstate moved in a town away, it slowly started to die. Slowly places lost their life, and slowly rotted away.

Fast forward to today. Big box stores have mowed over abandoned structures or open lots. Motels have survived the times, offering long term stays for travelers with no destination. It is now a modern shopping mecca with almost any store you can imagine. Scars of the past remain, however. Traveling on the turnpike gives one a sight of buildings stuck in the past, some still used, others abandoned. They are scattered amongst sharp, cold buildings of big box corporations. As a photographer, I am always striving to capture change. Up until I started taking infrared photographs, I didn’t have a means to convey the energy of this place. Now I do. So I set out, using both my digital eyes. At night, I used my visible spectrum camera. At day, I made use of my infrared camera. I spent many hours scouting, capturing, and compiling this work I have titled, “The Berlin Turnpike: Night Vs. Day.”

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