serious me  

photography - films - music - books - posters -history projects






About My World
I am a Southern man living on a small farm in rural Alabama. My wife Margaret is a horse trainer and breeder ( and we live a dreamlife. Pinchona creek flows through our property, and it combined with the spanish moss draped trees and two lakes provides us with plenty of work and pleasure. It also provides me with a great setting for photography and film projects. We operate a small recording studio along with a video production studio and a studio for my photography and Margaret's paintings. You can check out our latest music videos featuring songs by our friends and band mates here.


History Projects: Thomas Woodward and The Old Federal Road

My relationship with the Old Federal Road began not long after the book “The Old Federal Road Through Georgia, the Creek Nation, and Alabama, 1806-1836” was first published in 1989. At the time, I was wrapping up a demanding project photographing certain examples of Palladian Architecture in Alabama (“Palladio In Alabama”, works in the collection of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts), and the work was taking me to parts of the state I had not known before. As a photographer, and especially a landscape photographer, I was always in search of a new project theme. Southerland and Brown's book was exciting to me for many reasons, but the idea that I might follow a forgotten road which would take me and my audience not only through the modern landscape, but also through time, was just too appealing to ignore.

My first challenge was to locate the forgotten road. The Old Federal Road book gave a rough idea of the route, but I needed more precision. So off to the State Archives, and the very helpful and friendly staff there, especially Norwood Kerr, soon had me immersed in old drawings and other information. I soon formed pattern of learning about a section of the road, then going out and exploring. Then back for deeper research, and then out into the field again. It's a pattern known to many researchers, as one discovery leads to new questions. And round and round.

I soon realized that the road had been surveyed in the nineteenth century while still largely in some use, and this survey had been transferred to a set of pages with grids wherein one inch equaled one mile. I then remembered from my undergraduate days doing field research at the University of Alabama that maps were available from the Alabama Highway Department for each county which were also one inch to the mile, and very detailed. Ah ha! I copied the survey of the old road, section by section onto some clear sheets of plastic using a copy machine, and then, using a photographer's light table, which of course I already had, I simply traced the old road onto the new highway maps. It worked well, and I was off to see how much of the road I could still see.

Now, due to the efforts of the Federal Road Task Force, appointed by State Representative Thad McLamy, these maps, professionally prepared by the Alabama Department of Transportation, will soon be available to the public. The Task Force will also undertake to have the route marked on the ground also.

flooded hardwood