Okie Repeat, Part I

Oklahoma, Photo Essay, Photography

I wrote in my last post that I love photographing small town Oklahoma because the towns have unique buildings and their own charm and character. However, as I photographed more places on my recent trip, I started to see patterns and similarities, some obvious, others less so. For example, almost every downtown has a defunct garage, a church in an old storefront, an antique shop, faded advertisements painted on the side of brick buildings, and this being 2022, a marijuana dispensary. (More on that in a future post).

Photographing these similarities became a game for me, a pictorial scavenger hunt. I “won” each time I got three of a kind. These are the types of self-entertaining activities one plays when driving across rural America. It gets lonely out there.

Here are some examples of those repetitions and similarities.

Antique Reflections

Downtown Undertaker

Profane Politics

Rural Religion

Spray Paint Messages

Little White Church

Okie Saloon

Main Street Jesus

Little Town Liquor

Neoclassical Oklahoma

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Currently living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I travel, write, take photos, and stalk street cats. ~ planetbell1@gmail.com

14 thoughts on “Okie Repeat, Part I”

  1. Very nice series. Oppressive and disturbing photos of an American reality that we here in Europe do not expect at all. Thank you very much👍

    • What does small town Europe look like these days? Are people abandoning them for cities too? I mostly spent time in the big cities there. Thanks for commenting.

    • Thank you for the comment and compliment. I usually look for patterns in single images but I started seeing this from town to town and it captivated me.

  2. I echo what Lex said — this looks fun! This gave me an idea of what to look for the next time I go to small towns. I find the ‘Rural Religion’ set particularly captivating due to the differences of the colors of the sky, and also the way you ‘use’ the sun to make a great composition. Nicely done, Jeff!

    • Thanks Bama. I try to use the sun, sky or some other element if possible in the photo so I’m not simply reproducing what is there. I try to add one more layer of interest, and that too becomes a game.

  3. Rob Dye says:

    Terrific series, Jeff! Would love to see the extended set, where you’ve got 20-30 photos for each theme! (only partially kidding)

  4. Pingback: Okie Repeat, Part II | Planet Bell

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