You can hear Jeanne Bonner’s interview with me about Vanishing South Georgia at the link below, or catch it on the radio this afternoon around 5:45. Either way, I was very honored to be featured.
From the GPB website (visit their site for the whole story):
“I use my camera as a preservation tool,” [Brown] said, holding his camera.
And that’s an invaluable service, says Mark McDonald of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, a nonprofit that saves old buildings. Some historic structures, he says, will simply be lost.
“He’s documenting buildings that literally may not be here next week,” he said in an interview at his office in Atlanta. “So in historic preservation, if you can’t save a historic building, the last step is to document it.”
Vanishing South Georgia got some wonderful attention today on the blog of Garden & Gun, the leading magazine about the South. Chantel O’Neal did a nice write-up, which is re-posted below. I was very honored by this feature!
Focusing on the Forgotten
by Chantel O’Neal
Brian Brown gets lost a lot—on purpose. The self-taught photographer behind the Vanishing South Georgia and Vanishing Coastal Georgia projects has been archiving the state’s past since 2005. That was the year he moved back to his hometown of Fitzgerald and noticed all of the places that had disappeared, including the tobacco barn on his family’s farm…
To read the rest of Chantel’s post, visit:
Please visit Garden & Gun if you haven’t lately. It’s a wonderful publication.
YOU’VE GOTTEN OUR ATTENTION!
Thanks to lots of new followers on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/vanishingsouthgeorgia and longtime fans here on the website, we’ve now reached a new milestone of over 3, 000 subscribers. This would not be possible without you and the great feedback and comments you provide. The image above was one of my first when I began the project nearly five years ago.
Here’s a link to my interview with Georgia News Network (GNN) host John Clark about Vanishing South Georgia. I really enjoyed meeting John and he does great work for our state and GNN. It was nice to be able to conduct the interviews in two of my favorite places, Midway and Mystic! (FYI the program runs for 30 minutes)
To learn more about GNN, please visit here:
I’m so glad that so many people have chosen to subscribe to Vanishing South Georgia but several of you have dropped subscriptions or complained that you don’t like receiving so many posts at one time. I agree, it’s a bit too much when I post 30-40 images at a time. Nita Parry, a regular subscriber, asked me today if there was a way to manage or receive fewer emails. Here is how you do it (granted, WordPress should make it easier, but for now this is the way they do business): When you subscribe, the confirmation email you receive will have a message at the bottom that reads: Want less email? Modify your Subscription Options. Click on Subscription Options. And follow the directions from there. An easier way to do it is to simply scroll down the page after you’ve confirmed your subscription, click on the Delivery Frequency tab in the dropdown menu beside the blog name and you can check Immediately or Weekly. By checking weekly you’ll only get ONE email per week. I know this seems complicated, and WordPress really needs to improve it, but until then, this is the way to do it. If you encounter any problems during this process, contact me and I’ll try to help you through it.
You’ve probably noticed that the website looks a bit different as of this afternoon. Please be patient as I work on improvements to Vanishing South Georgia. Most of the site will remain the same, i.e. the city and county lists on the sidebar, but I’m hoping the larger font will be much more readable. I’ll also be able to include more links to relevant websites. I’ll be tweaking these changes over the next several days, but there should be no problems in accessibility. Thanks as always for your interest and support!
Near White Plains, Georgia. Jack Delano, ca. 1941. Library of Congress.
Before I had an interest in photography I knew Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother. Elementary school textbooks, at least of my era, often used the copyright-free image to symbolize the hardships of the Great Depression. My great-grandmother regularly referred to “Hoover Days”. I consider my interest in vernacular architecture, which makes up the bulk of my public work, to be a direct result of my exposure to the FSA photographers. In addition to Lange, there were Walker Evans, Marion Post Wolcott, Gordon Parks, Carl Mydans, Russell Lee, Arthur Rohtstein, John Vachon, and Jack Delano.It’s amazing how many people know these photographs, whether they know their histories or not. They’re indelibly linked to the history of America in the 20th century.
I’d appreciate if any of my regular visitors to Vanishing South Georgia who’ve previously shared memories of the Great Depression would also share them on the new site. This site will also utilize historic family photos from time to time. Georgia in the Great Depression will only be updated irregularly (5-10 posts/month), but I’ll always welcome memories and stories from the era.
Thanks to you, Vanishing South Georgia has reached a milestone.
As of today, one million views have been recorded on the website! Traffic has grown exponentially since I first launched it back in 2008. The style of the site has also changed from time to time and it continues to evolve. When I started the project, one of the catalysts was the lack of any information, especially imagery, of South Georgia on the internet. My mission has been to share my neck of the woods with the rest of the world, and with your help I’ve succeeded. I’ve traveled to every county in South Georgia in the past four years and in the process of searching for the most forgotten and most unknown places of the region, I’ve taken over 300,000 photographs. As I’ve said many times before, it wouldn’t be possible without you and your generosity in spreading the word about my work.
(To know more about the beautiful Royal Palm turkey pictured above, stay tuned. It’s one of several heritage livestock and poultry breeds at Red Earth Farm in Tattnall County.)
Sunrise & Fog, Cornflower Road, Irwin County
I get many requests for usage of images on this site, and as my copyright notice suggests, I’m usually quite willing to share them with proper credit. When corresponding with those in need of images, I’m often asked why the images are so small, and if they are available in higher resolution/larger format. In response, the images are small because it’s the safest way for me to show them, without them being downloaded or printed without acknowledgement. I choose this option to avoid placing messy and distracting watermarks on my photographs. As to size, I shoot very large images in the highest available resolution. Most are available for private purchase, to answer another frequent question. Since I’m not to a point where I want to make this website a wholly commercial endeavor, I handle orders on a case by case basis. I am busy on three different photobook projects at the moment, and am soon to be branching out from architectural photography. That said, I will continue to maintain Vanishing South Georgia as long as there are places to shoot and my schedule allows. I thank each and every one of you for making this a huge success.
This image represents a milestone for Vanishing South Georgia. Since beginning the website in 2008, I have traveled to every county in the southern half of the largest state east of the Mississippi River. When I consider that I’ve made over 250,000 photographs in the process of editing and choosing what is shown on the website I am overwhelmed at the geographical scope and diversity of this project.
I am constantly reassured by your comments, all of you sons and daughters of South Georgia, and myriad other friends and followers. Considering the success of this project I know you care about your roots and the places that have helped make you who you are today. Vanishing South Georgia has forced me to slow down and appreciate my surroundings, and daily interactions with people who share the same passion for preserving our heritage reinforces my resolve to continue the work.
Recent demographic trends suggest that for the first time in our history, America is more urban than rural; perhaps that drives interest in what I’m doing. I want to thank each and every one of you who has stopped by for making this the greatest journey this son of South Georgia has ever taken…