Photo Finish: On the Road Again

by David J. Carol

Eliot Dudik

"Rob and Ricky"

September 06, 2012

I’ve always been a sucker for road trips and I’m glad to see that fine-art photographer Eliot Dudik seems to love them as well. Dudik, when not teaching photography at the University of South Carolina, is usually on the road with a big ol’ 4x5 camera that he doesn’t hesitate to carry into the woods or through a swamp. He genuinely seems at home roaming back roads while looking for the “essence” of southern culture and the mystical backwoods beauty hidden from tourists as they haul themselves down U.S. Route 17 (a highway that bisects South Carolina’s “lowcountry” north to south, and one that— Dudik writes on his website—is being widened to “accommodate commerce, tourists, and urban refugees”). Dudik seems to fully understand humor, nuance and composition and, even more importantly, knows how to capture them with a camera. Check out his first monograph, Road Ends in Water (first published in 2010), and you’ll quickly see what I mean. It seems to me that Dudik is the heir apparent to the Egglestons and Christenberrys of yore, and to that I say, “Keep on keepin’ on, Mr. Dudik!”

Each month David Carol highlights work from a photographer who shoots for love, passion and personal experience.

David J. Carol is the director of photography at CBS Outdoor. His images and award-winning books are in the collections of major museums and institutions throughout the U.S. He serves as a portfolio reviewer for several organizations around the country. Contact him at david@davidcarol.com or visit his website, www.davidcarol.com 

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