So the other day I was messing around with my photo project Bridge City and everything went wrong with the database. My WordPress database was messed up. The backup was less messed up but it was a mess. I felt like hurling.
For those of you know follow it, you know that I have uploaded about 750 high resolution photos of Saskatoon to the site, organized by neighborhood. For the historical buildings in Saskatoon, I tracked down the architect and learned a lot about the city in the process. There was David Webster the father and David Webster the son. Many historical records claim David Webster as architect when he wasn’t and some historical records have contradictory information which often means the building construction is more complicated than we ever thought. Personally I think at one point in our city’s history, if we didn’t know who the architect was, someone at the back at the room yelled out, “David Webster” and someone said, “sounds good” and that was it.
The project has been a lot of fun as I have spent many a day off buried in archives and online tracking down a list of questions that I can’t find an answer for.
Since the project is to document the important buildings in the city, it has gotten me off the couch and out in the streets, often with Mark and Wendy in tow as we try to capture the building. This process has attracted building owners, neighbors, and even Saskatoon City Police officers to see what I am up to and then share some of what they know. It’s been a lot of fun.
The good news is that the photos aren’t lost but the information and research is. For a couple of days I was torn between recreating the site or just posting the photos here.
From a branding perspective, having my photography under my site and name makes the most sense but I really like being able to browse by neighborhood and creating a resource that is used by a lot of you. For all intents and purposes my Flickr account does the same thing but I enjoy going through it, researching what I have captured and filling out the site.
The plan is to upload and post 10 archival posts a night to Bridge City and of course one new one each day. Hopefully the site will be back to where it was (and maybe even better) by late summer. So if you are one of the people that checked it out and used it as a resource, thanks for reading, commenting, and correcting. I love the input.
I get asked all of the time why I spend so much time documenting and capturing the city. Basically as a writer, I find myself writing about what is messed up with the city. I write about social justice and City Hall. I deal with politicians who look me in the eye and lie to me. That kills one’s enthusiasm for the city you live in.
Then I go out with my Pentax K-3 or a cheap point and shoot and I see the city in a different way. The city slows down. There is time for coffee and chatting. I find myself falling in love with this city all over again. In the end, carrying a camera and shooting some photos or video connects me to the city and it’s people. That’s still kind of important to me.