David Plowden

Date: Sun, 25 Aug 2002 14:57:20 -0400

Congratulations on your latest book, David, and on the upcoming exhbiit at the Cultural Center. I plan to feature the exhibit in my upcoming column for North Shore magazine  and would like to interview you sometime in the next 10 days, if possible. It will be great to catch up with all you have been doing. A phone interview will be fine if you are out of town - I've tried calling your home a few times and haven't gotten an answer. GREAT WEB SITE!
Abigail Foerstner

From: Abigail Foerstner  <amf240@aol.com>

Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 01:30:42 -0400

I purchased "Imprints" and was wondering if you sell prints of any photos in the book?  I particularly like "Piles of Taconite"Superior ,Wisconsin 1979. There are some others also which I can inquire about depending on your response regarding this photo.  Thank you.

From: L Woodruff <woodruff.fam@worldnet.att.net>

Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 18:23:37 -0400

There is a train graveyard in southwest Bolivia.  The tracks end and there they are.  You would like the setting.

After having a printing and design agency and then travelling for two years, I have decided to pursue photography, or rather...new subjects through photography.  What is your opinion of the digital format?  To my mind, it allows more focus on what you're doing without all the fuss about development and waiting to edit.  Is this sacreligious?


From: Michael Yoder <miyoder@yahoo.com>

Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 15:59:23 -0400

Outstanding images.  I really like your use of black & white. You have a good eye.

From: Brian <bbenn062@verizon.net>

Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2002 18:33:28 -0400

Absolutely haunting.  Esp. the Iowa landscapes and farms in the distance.  I came to this site via my father being born in Gotebo Oklahoma and found Mr. Plowden's photo taken there.  His work reminds me of Willa Cather.  Thanks for the journey.  I am a writer teaching at U. of Denver.  Landscapes do haunt me.

From: Terry Dodd <tdodd@ci.aurora.us>

Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 01:42:48 -0400

Mr. Plowden:

Was just wondering, one of my favourite photos that you ever took seems to have been hidden away from your recent books.  It appeared in Kalmbach's CANADIAN STEAM by David Morgan.  It was titled I THINK I CAN'T but should have been labeled STALLED.  It is of CN Mike 3253 stalled at Brighton, Ontario.  I'm a railroader and have been that brakeman walking back to make a cut for a double, many times.  Great photo, do you still have that negative?


Mark Perry
Dauphin MB

From: Mark Perry <mperry@mb.sympatico.ca>

Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 02:04:41 -0400


I've just spent the better part of an hour admiring your photographic website.  I feel as if I've just returned from a wonderful trip across America.  Thanks for helping me see what to look for.
It's brilliant work.

From: Peter Tuohy <PeterT1981@AOL.com>

Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 15:59:02 -0400

I saw the CBS Morning program last Sunday that featured your photographs. I enjoyed your work immensely, but frankly, as far as I know,it was my first glimpse of your images. I didn't see the portion of the segment that showed you with your camera. My wife drew it, but I can't figure out which camera was shown. I am the past president of the Photo Historical Society of New England and have been keenly interested in cameras and using them since I was a kid back in the 1930s. She described a single lens camera with bellows, a rectangular front standard and either a reflex housing or chimney shaped magnifying viewer. How close was she? Please tell me what was the camera that was seen in last Sunday's show.

All best wishes,

Lester Gediman

From: Les Gediman  <lsg3@juno.com>

Date: Tue, 9 Jul 2002 11:20:40 -0400

As a Chicago kid I appreciate the artistry of your work.  My grandfather worked for 40 years at the Standard Oil refinery in Whiting and I spent a lot of my youth in Lake County Indiana.  My Grandfather also kept the land-grant era family farm outside Grand Ridge in LaSalle County Illinois. Sometimes I think only you and I saw the beauty and power in the area surrounding that very industrial part of the world.  I will be forever struck by the industrial mass of Chicago/Indiana contrasted with the starkness of the treeless farms only 20 or so miles away.  Because of my age (40) I saw it more in a state of majestic decline rather than in it's youthful ascent earlier in the century.  Do you recommend a location in Chicago where I can purchase your work?

From: Thomas Klimmeck <thomas_klimmeck@mcfllc.com>

Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 12:47:55 -0400

Dear Mr.Plowden,

The Esteyco Foundation was created in 1991 with the goal of contributing to progress in engineering and architecture. Its character is primarily cultural and one of its main activities consists in editing a book every year. The book is distributed at no cost to people active in engineering, architecture and, generally, culture and the arts.

This year we are celebrating the rebirth of the railway, showing the charm, variety and richness of its geometries. In the book, a number of personalities from different sectors of society will offer comments on photographs that depict the Geometries of the Railways.

Among the photographs selected, there is one ("Bridges. The spans of North America," page 215) for which you own the rights. We would be grateful if, given the character of the book, you would allow us free use of the picture or, in any case, if you could let us know the procedure for obtaining the permission to reproduce it. We would of course acknowledge the source.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Isabel Rui-Wamba
Secretary General


From: Isabel Rui-Wamba <isabel@esteyco.es>

Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2002 17:46:44 -0400

I saw a recent special on your work from when you were a small child to the present.  Photography is a hobby of mine that has been relatively dormant of late.  I think you have inspired me to ignite this love again and even pursue one of my dreams of having my own darkroom.  I have a lot of negatives.  Perhaps there is something there.  Who know.

Thanks again,
Curtiss Nunes

From: Curtiss Nunes <curtissnunes@hotmail.com>

Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 20:38:33 -0400

Very powerful images. Simply sublime. Wish I took them.

From: Mark Seel <markseel@aol.com>

Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 11:41:19 -0400

Hello David,

How are you doing?  Hopefully everything is going well!  I was just curious as to when your new barn book is going to be available?  (and where I can purchase it at?)  I would love to have your book in my collection.

Keep me posted, Thanks,
Holly Nelson

From: Holly Nelson <hcn420@hotmail.com>

Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 04:00:59 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden,

I've just come across this site filled with your work.  As a friend of mine once said on encountering Groucho Marx on a Los Angeles street, "I thought you were dead!"  But I'm very glad that you seem to still be here.

When I was in college, years ago, I bought a copy of "Commonplace."  In part, I bought it because it was everything I'd ever seen from every window of every train I'd taken as a child.  But in a strange way, I guess I also bought it because each photo was a photo of me.

It's one of the few books that has stayed with me through all my travels.  I still look at the pictures often.  Thanks for each and every one of them.


Dan Hedges

From: Dan Hedges <dan64@wt.net>

Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 20:06:50 -0400

I was first exposed to your work in Photography Appreciation class & since then, I've come to really love it.  Don't change a thing!

From: Rebecca <beccapatton@aol.com>

Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 13:03:29 -0400

Mr. Plowden:
I appreciate your black and white photographs. Like yourself, I am a photgrapher, and I have been making black and white photographs of small town and rural America since l977 when I began work at the State Historic Preservation Office of Kentucky. Since l986 I have made photographs exclusively with a 4" x 5" view camera. Although I have been making images of small town and rural America, primarily in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, for 25 years, I continue my photographic journey in this field, because of the continued disappearance of a way of life in small town America. I am saddened by this fact, and, like yourself, I am on a mission to make photographs of small town America. Good luck to you.

William G. Johnson

From: William G. Johnson <Bolinski_000@Yahoo.com>

Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 14:16:27 -0400

Mr. Plowden,
 I am looking for a copy of your book "Steel" but have not been very successful. I have looked in the usual places (ebay, amazon, ect.) and have not been able to locate one. Once I thought I found one but the seller just ripped me off. I was hoping that you could give me an idea on were to look. I have your book "End of an Era" and loved it. I plan on buying other books of yours when I can afford them. We seem to have the same interests (trains, boats, bridges, ect.). Any help you could give me would be very much appreciated. I'm a Big fan. Thank you.

From: john macgillis <jmacgillis@hotmail.com>

Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 09:44:22 -0400

Mr. Plowden,

I have just finished the article in LensWork Apr-Mat 2002.
I admire your knowledge and images.  Your work is greatly inspiring, and your philosophy is refereshing.

As an Architect and Amateur photographer, I would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences and possibly obtain some insight into photography.

Thank you for your time and sharing your images.

Peter Kozloski

From: Peter Kozloski <peterkozloski@yahoo.com>

Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2002 19:55:08 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden,

I first saw your work in Shutterbug, then in the new Lenswork, which I looked at in an independent bookstore in Charleston, WV, an hour from my home in rural Braxton County.  I'll buy it when I get my pension check next week.  I'm a retired social workr now doing landscape photography full-time.  I found this website by going down the list under Google, then going through a link, where it is listed.

Even going back to before the time I first saw your work, I find a lot of kinship with both the photography and your intent.  My all-time hero is Eugene Atget.  I've also read about and studied the works of those who are now masters like Adams, Abbott, Evans, Lange, Strand, Steiglitz, Steichen, and Cunningham.  The other contemporary I most like is Tillman Crane.

Two years ago I had a one-year apprenticeship with a certified master photographer who lives nearby.  He does mostly portraits for a living, but I also love his landscapes.  He has specialized in the bromoil process.  I needed to learn basic techniques for a 30-year-old manual Knoica camera with three fixed lenses.  He taught me 1/2 day a month plus he and his wife let me use their darkroom in between.  I am still using it until I can get funds to build my own.  I also take color photos with Fuji Velvia 50 slide film.  I work with a local lab to get the prints.

My work has been well-accepted in-state for my just starting out.  It's been in several museum and gallery shows, and I also sell some through retail outlets.  I'm starting to do a couple of art/craft shows, also in-state.  All of my photos are of WV except for a series in Seaside Heights, NJ, and NYC during a trip to see my aunt on September 19-24.  My 16-year old son and I were in NYC the 23-24 ended up inside the perimeter at Ground Zero.  My photos in homage to the site and its environs have been in the Charleston paper and a couple of shows.

My teacher said I was ready for workshops, but he thought I should look nationally.  Is there any opportunity you offer to study with you, other than the ongoing college classes you teach?  Would it make sense for me to study with you, given that I'm using a different format?  I plan to stay with the 35mm for awhile until I become more proficient with it.  However, I've just arranged with two other in-state photographers for an orientation to their medium- and large-format equipment, and I'm starting to consider where I might go next.

I would be pleased to send you samples from my portfolio via computer, CD, or mail (slides or prints) - whatever would work best for you.  I haven't tried this electronically, but we have a scanner and my son could possibly help me with it.

I am now doing photography full-time, and I'm very serious about producing the best possible work.  I am particularly committed to showing the strengths of our state, including its living heritage, beauty, and uniqueness, and in contributing to an improved self-image and respect for the environment.  Even after a few years of pursuing these goals, I am beginning to see a greater focus on the good work that in-state photographers are already doing.

I will welcome any information you can give me about opportunities to learn from you.  I will continue to search the web and look at your work there and try to get your books through our library system.

Thank you very much for your attention to this message.

Take care.

Betty Rivard

From: Betty Rivard <bettyrivard@yahoo.com>

Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 01:48:05 -0400

         My name is Ezra Keebaugh and I am currently studying Photography in
Year 10 at Melbourne High School, Australia. I am enjoying it immensely, and
as part of an assessment task/project, I have to direct questions to a
practicing or professional photographer. Your input would greatly be
appreciated in answering a couple of short simple questions.

How long have you been involve in photography?

How did you get into Photography, and what has kept you involved and interested?

What equipment do you use?

What is your favourite style and/or subject matter for your work?

Have any past photographers influenced your work?

What has been your most satisfying work or piece?

Have you ever had a piece or job that was a monumental failure (complete

I would also thank-you if you could include a piece of  your own work as an
attachment, with a critical evaluation or analysis if possible.

Yours with gratitude,
Ezra Keebaugh

From: Ezra Keebaugh <ekeebaugh@hotmail.com>

Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 14:21:33 -0400

Comments about Plowden's material (blue.unix-bhs2u)

Dear Mr. Plowden.  I recently saw the program on PBS featuring your life with the camera.  I was slightly familiar with your work because of the article in "black & white photography".  It was a delight to learn much more about you from the PBS feature.  I determined to purchase a copy of "Imprints" but was disappointed to learn that it is out of print.  Well, as luck would have it, I was in Oxford, MS, setting-up an exhibition of my b&w images (theme "from Main Street to Manhattan") at the Southside Gallery, when I wandered into a book shop ("Off Square Books) and found a new copy of "Imprints" at a deep discount!  That made my day, and I have enjoyed examining your images immensely. More later, best regards, Richard Rink

From: Richard Rink <rdrink01@louisville.edu>

Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 01:53:29 -0500

just discovered your work. Beautifully seen and very poetic. I am trying to reveal a similar vision in the social landscape of my country, New Zealand. It's not just middle earth down here.

From: Derek Smith <travelling-light@paradise.net.nz>

Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 13:42:36 -0500

Not a comment, but a question.  I just saw a PBS documentary about you and your photography.  You mentioned in it that your long-time favorite paper is no longer being produced.   May I ask what that paper was?  I'm just curious.  I hate it too when a paper that I have been using for many years and am intimately familiar with is discontinued or "improved."

Oh, what the heck, I might as well make a couple comments too.

Keep printing in the darkroom.  I am an old-time darkroom printer myself and, although I have to confess that I have finally taken a minor step into digital imaging by scanning and storing old family photographs, I plan to continue to craft my "real" photographs in the darkroom until I drop.  Despite the long, tedious hours of painstaking work, aching feet, and archival processing, I will still do it.  For me, traditional darkroom printing has an intimacy that I do not feel when working in a "light room."   The darkroom always has and probably always will have a magic for me that digital imaging simply does not have.   Blood, sweat, and tears go into darkroom prints.  Well, sweat and tears anyway (lol).

By the way, I am from the Chicago area myself and I roam many of the same places that you do.  I also roamed ever nook and cranny of the country endlessly searching for photographs when my children were growing.  I still do that but now only with my wife since my children are all adults now.   I saw myself in you.   In fact, our subject matter is very similar as well.  Your darkroom even looks like mine (lol).   We shoot in different formats, however.  I prefer a slightly rectangular format and shoot primarliy in 4x5".   Most of my photographs are devoid of people but suggest their presence and document the remnants of a disappearing way of life.  However, I also do a substantial amount of color work that could be classified as scenic, I suppose, to sell for publication.

As for b&w, I have yet to see a digital print that can match a finely crafted b&w print such as those that you make.  I guess that I'm closed-minded on this subject.   As long as film and papers are available, I will be working in my darkroom.    In this day of digital everything, many people forget what a wonderful medium film is.   For color printing, however, I have to concede that there are, perhaps, overwhelming arguments for going digital.

Keep up the great work!  You are truly an inspiration.

Tom Johnston

From: Tom Johnston  <thomas.johnston@attbi.com>

Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2002 22:08:28 -0500

Dear Mr. Plowden,
My name is Dr. Raymond White of Wheaton, Illinois. I just saw your film about Light Shadow and Form and fell in love with your spirit.

Your approach to photography has always been my dream.. I use the Hasselblad with 80mm Planar and want to own a 150mm Sonnar CT lens.. I wonder if  you will talk to me.. You are a poetic geneous using light as your medium.. I also failed geometry and later found that I had talents far ahead of what that course taught me.

David, I beg you to answer my letter.. I take create pleasure and delight trying to reach a man like  you.. Perhaps after  you speak to me you will know about my past in photography and my poetic desire to capture time and light.. Light is God's way of saying he is always present.

Thanks so very much David for your contribution to life and humanity.

Dr. Raymond White

From: Dr. Raymond White <Karabilikian57@aol.com>

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 15:31:32 -0500

Stay in touch -- we like your work here at Southside Gallery in Oxford, Miss.

From: Milly Moorhead <southside@watervalley.net>

Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 11:54:56 -0500

I have enjoyed your photographs for many years, and am interested owning several images. Please provide information on dealers that offer your photographs for sale.

From: Charles Peterson <cwpiv@aol.com>

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2002 17:55:14 -0500

Dear Mr. Plowden,
What can one say...well done. I once openened a fortune cookie that read, " There is beauty in simplicity." I as a struggling model, artist, writer ...etc. truly believe this, ancient wisdom, (that was a joke.)!

So why am I writing you? I am 25 years old  woman, marrying a 47 yr old man,( abit eccentric), who adores your work, which happens to  come from a family of photographers. If I could be so presumptuous  to ask if any of your photos are for sale I would genuinely like to purchase one for him as a grooms gift from a all too young bride. He got devorced before I met him !  Like I said eccentric, thank  you for listening and i am not so sure you'll ever recieve this in the e-mail vortex, but I tried and what the hell,maybe I'll get to buy a piece of americana for my love. Good day Sir and I hope your well.
With much Adoration,
Jessica L. Watrous

Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 00:52:42 -0500

Mr. Plowden, A friend of mine once complained about the noise of a jet plane taking off. I remarked it wasn't noise -- it was a symphony of purposeful intelligence. He wasn't impressed, but when I look at your photos of industry and bridges, that phrase keeps coming to mind. And I come from a very small town in Nebraska, so your photos of the rural countryside, no matter where they were taken, make me think "I know that place -- I've lived there." Finally, there your splendid analytical writing in each book (I have 11 of them). You are clearly one photographer who should write. I keep hoping you will have an exhibit in Denver. Maybe someday.

From: Mikel Peterson <mikelpeterson@earthlink.net>

Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 15:16:30 -0500

Dear Mr. Plowden,
    Several years ago on a trip from Niagara Falls, N.Y. to Camden,Me. I noticed that we would pass close to the town of Cazenovia,N.Y.  I told my future ex-wife that we were taking a short side trip to Cazenovia.  "Why?" she asked.  I explained that a photographer named David Plowden had taken a photo. of the main st. of that town and it had made a real impression on me and I wanted to see it for myself.  "You must be nuts." she said.  Prehaps.
    I have several books of your photographs.  And of all your wonderful photographs Main St. in Cazenovia still ranks at the top of my list.  The more I look at it the more it gives back.  In this respect it is like many great art works.  Thanks for all your fine work and thanks for Cazenovia.
                                Yours truly,
                                 George Daily

From: George Daily <gdaily@peoplepc.com>

Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 16:03:40 -0500

David after hearing your voice over the phone.  One that has such a character to it strength of life, a facination... I imagined a tall man, big eyes, a face with many lines of laughter and intrigue.  I just had to see what type of work you do and I'm am not stunned to see such lovely work... but amazed at how much more incredible it really is.  It's nice to hear a voice to it and I thank you.

meShell at LensWork...

From: meShell <cyanotype@hotmail.com>

Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 10:52:18 -0500

I feel something of a kinship to your work, if you get a chance have a look at my photographs at


 Especially my ruins photographs, I would be interested in your comments on them.
Shaun O'Boyle

From: Shaun O'Boyle <so@oboylephoto.com>

Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 12:14:31 -0500

Dear Mr. Plowden,

I writing in regard to the possible use of one of your photos for the cover of a forthcoming book to be published by the University Press of New Engalnd.  The picture that we are interested in was a striking internal shot of the insdie of a round barn in Indiana.  The photo appeared ion the Smithsonian Mag's web site.  I am in something of a hurry with this and would appreciate a quick reply.  I hope we can come to some arrangement...I really love the shot.  The book is a novel entitled (no joke) The Round Barn.

Thanks for any help.  I hope you don't mind if I use other avenues of contacting you as well.


Richard Pult

From: richard Pult <richard.pult@dartmouth.edu>

Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 21:53:09 -0500

Dear Mr. Plowden,
Just wanted to say I admire your work greatly.  Until I came across your work I thought I was the only one interested in old steel mills and bridges.  I find your work quite inspirational.  Although it's also a little upsetting to see how much has disappeared.  All the more reason to photograph it I guess.

Also, not sure if it still sparks your interest, but there is still at least one steam engine still working the NYC waterfront.  The NYCDOT dockbuilders use a refurbished steam powered barge crane on a daily basis.  I'm a construction manager building the new Manhattan-side Staten Island Ferry Terminal (Whitehall Ferry Terminal) and have the joy of watching it every day as they rebuild the wooden fender racks between ferry slips.

Terence McDonagh

From: Terence McDonagh <tmcdonagh2@hotmail.com>

Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 13:54:54 -0500

Mr. Plowden,

I would like extend an invitation to you. I am Vice President of the Locomotive and Tower Preservation Fund, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, which owns and operates restored steam locomotive Soo Line 2719. we will operating April 20 and 21 out of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, on the Canadian National Railroad.

Prior to the trip we will firing up and moving from the an old Omaha roundhouse in Altoona, WI for our move to Chippewa Falls about 15 miles north.

If you are interested, I can get you on the Union Pacific property to take pictures. We lease the roundhouse from the UP.

we have allowed Nils Huxtible and other professional photographers in and around the property. The terms are pretty loose. Such as maybe you could share a picture for one of our fund raisers. Nils sells his calanders to us for a good discount. Other than that,its just a lot of chatting. We don't ask for any photo fees etc.

I have seen your work and recently bought one of your book featuring scenes from mainstreets.

Also look at our web site


Dave Peterson VP
Locomotive and Tower Preservation Fund
PO Box 1266
Eau Claire, WI 54702

From: Dave Peterson <twodlp@discover-net.net>

Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 12:19:40 -0500

     Hello Sir:
            I teach bl/wh photography at a small community college in middle Tennesse.  I would very much like to obtain, if possible, signed posters of your work.  Their are two reasons for that.  One is as a fund raiser for a  program that lacks much of a budget and the other is as an inspiration for the students.  If this is possible, please let me know.  Thank you, much.
       Ken Preiser

From: Ken Preiser <KPreiser@MSCC.CC.TN.US>

Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 09:22:00 -0500

Dear Mr. Plowden,

I love your work very much - in addition to the visual quality alone, it really hits the intended marks in capturing the disappearing quiet scenes of the US.  I am not a collector and am not in the position of affording the justified collector's type pricing.  But, some of your images hit home to me to the extent I would do almost anything to be able to have an original or two to display in my home.  Is there some way you might be able to help make this possible?

(I hope this is not received in any other way other than my sincere intention)

Thanks from a true admirer,

Dean Segal

From: Dean Segal <renoyd@aol.com>

Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 16:26:23 -0500


Lovely images.  I wish I could see the actual prints but its nice to see them at all.  I hope all is well with you, it seems you must be very busy to have produced all this new work.  Great job.  I envy you so.

Morgan Anderson (from Grand Valley circa 1995)

From: Morgan Anderson <manderson@hartmediagroup.com>

Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2002 12:13:43 -0500

Saw your photos on WTTW in Chicago.  Your pictures of engines,industry,and farms are the same pictures I would take (mine are snapshots, yours are art.)  I love black and white-they have a snap that color photos don't have.

Do you sell your prints? Are tou represented in Chicago or Tucson?  I grew up in Chicago and call it home, but I spend winters in Tucson.  Are you represented in Chicago or Tucson?  The Etherton Gallery in Tucson seems to do a good job representing photographers in Tucson.

Tucson and the area around Tucson have attracted many photographers.  Unlike Phoenix,it has a small town feel.  Residents are much like mid-westerners and very friendly.

From: Hugh Jarvis <h_jarvis@msn.com>

Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 13:53:36 -0500

Farewell to Steam.
Ann Arbor No. 5.
Great-grandfather was captain (until 1940).
Wish I could have seen her run.
Thanks for the images.
The Badger still burns coal and reciprocates.
Just not in the open.

From: Marc Vander Meulen <mandj@sirus.com>

Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2001 17:42:28 -0500

I'm a photographer that would like to document the loss of the small american farm--  I will be driving solo from San Diego to Wisconsin in May & June 2002.  Don't think me too forward, but you wanna join me? Could be fun.  Check out my website...www.libbyscott.com.


From: Libby Scott <libbyscott@aol.com>

Date: Sun, 9 Dec 2001 23:06:41 -0500

Dear Sir, After a 25 yr. hiatus I have in the past 4 years returned to B&W photography (darkroom as well). At the expense of some of my wife's less interesting paintings, the walls of our home are now covered with shades of gray. I saw a PBS show about you and your work friday evening.I much enjoyed it as I have your photos at this site. Do you ever offer a short course that I might attend? Alternatively, there are some really superb railroad bridges over the Ohio in Louisville. You are welcome to our guest room, the use of my darkroom and a guided tour of the bridges. Upon request, I will e-mail a digital scan of one of the possibilities.

Cheers and keep up the superb work
Richard Wittebort
Professor of Chemsistry

From: Richard Wittebort <rjwitt01@athena.louisville.edu>

Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 23:08:33 -0500

Is there any way to get poster size copies of some of your photos.  My favorite is the Phoebe Snow in Scranton, P.A.
I would love to have that photo framed.  You are truly talented.  Thank you.

From: Dave <Webmaster@railwayresearch.com>

Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 16:01:26 -0500

Mr. Plowden,
It was very nice to see you and your wife at Betise last weekend.  You had asked me to drop you an email to remind you about the book you said you could possibly help me get.  I am not sure whether you have plans to come to the restaurant this weekend, but I will be at Betise all weekend, as well as every night next week other than Monday.

I thank you in advance for helping me with this.  It will truely be a wonderful Christmas gift for my friend Zack- we have been the best of friends for about 8 years, and I finally feel like I will be giving him a gift that he will really love! Also, thank you to you and your wife for being so kind, it is always a pleasure to see you at Betise.
Thanks again,

From: Lesley Bantle <lesleyb24@netzero.net>

Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 23:18:14 -0500

you are the only photographer i've seen who has captured the essence of "the industrial".  i don't think its an accident that you also are interested in the great space of the midwest.  You understand what that space means, and you let it rule your photos of the midwest.  the nobility of that sky, that space, is the same nobility that comes from our attempts to survive, as witnessed by the steel mills and refineries and railroads, on and on.  they are the same thing.  i've spent my adult life trying to show these things to others, with mixed results.  You, however, have succeeded.  And I believe you are alone in doing so.  I am grateful for your photos, so much so that I have them on my screen at work!  One of my few pleasures there...
Thank you, and keep clicking.

From: Jeff Brussel <candystink@aol.com>

Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 23:45:23 -0500

Hello Uncle David,
I was sitting in my room at the University of Rhode Island and decided to check out your website. It's Great! I hope everything is well for you. Write back if possible.  Deborah Younce

From: Deborah J.Younce <dyou4290@postoffice.uri.edu>

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 09:47:58 -0500

I watched a PBS special on your life and work last evening. I am a photographer living near Dusty, Washington. WOW,  you have inspired me beyond words. Thank you for keeping your vision.


Ken Williams

From: ken williams <tokenew@yahoo.com>

Date: Sat, 27 Oct 2001 20:18:13 -0400

I really like your work. Where can I get prints.

From: David Katz <david.katz@anixter.com>

Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 15:18:18 -0400

Alas...i just spent some time on your web sight. I emailed you earlier saying i watched your pbs special last night. The gallery of prints you show are astounding. The one of the nicholson bridge  is really dear to me. As a child my father would take us kids there..he was just awed by this bridge. His grandfather helped in the construction. Tall tales were told of  a worker falling into a section of the bridge as cement was being poured and they didn`t stop to rescue him. But alas it could have been an old tale from my great grandfather. Thanks for the trip back in time. Also......how could i purchase some of your work?  I am just so impressed sit.  Regards connie sampson

From: Connie  Sampson <cjsres@epix.net>

Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 17:40:13 -0400

Hello!I´m a Portuguese young architect.
I saw your work for the first time by my great friend and teatcher Igñasi de Solà-Morales.
Your work made me see the beauty of the obsolete, the power of time, the  sensuality of the peripheric.
Thank you.

I wish I could see Portugal by your eyes.

From: Ricardo Manuel Tedim Ramos Cruz <rtedimcruz@hotmail.com>

Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 21:19:20 -0400

Haven't had much interest in your work in the past...now, all of a sudden, everything you've done comes alive for me!  Can't seem to find enough of your work!

From: Daniel <sandtrout@juno.com>

Date: Mon, 3 Sep 2001 13:30:49 -0400

Dear David Plowden
A question about Yale as a choice for donation of Ted Polumbaum's photography archive.  Do you have positive or negative feelings about having left your work at yale?  Ted died in January.  We actually met as Yale students. He returned  from WWII and I was in the Drama School.  He became a photojoournalist after being blackisted during McCarthy days for his student activities at Yale.  So the university figures heavily in our history.  Most of his pictue taking was for Life but he also did a lot of work on his own.  The last was a book on Chile--from Allende to post-Pinochet.

I've only spoken with The Lib of Congress.  And they would like a portion of it.  But I'd like to keep it together.  Did you look at lots of places?  Do you have some insights that would be helpful?  Would you prefer not to be bothered?
Thanks in advance.
Nyna P

From: Nyna Brael Polumbaum  <nyna_polumbaum@bostonbbs.org>

Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 15:38:05 -0400

I too one time was an assistant trainmaster with little to do like you.  My time was on the SP in California in the late 60's.  I have a lady friend who is now 83 and when she was 75 she gave me a book for Christmas.  The book was entitled "A Time Of Trains" by David Plowden.  You will never know how much I enjoy looking at the pictures in that book.  Your description of riding GN 2505 out of Willmar is utterly fantastic.  I read that passage to my family every Christmas.  I also have ridden steam locomotives - what a sight and sound to behold.  There has been nothing like them since,  I would very much like to correspond with you.  I know you live in a small town in Illinois.  If you would kindly forward your address, I would appreciate it.  My name is
Don Edmisten, 4807 Fernwood Court, Fairfield, CA 94585.  My phone no. is 707-864-0522.
P.S.  Having been around railroads for 38 years - 17 years on 6 railroads from one end of the country to the other and 21 years as a railroad inspector for the State of CA., I truly love American History like you do.  Old ba
rns, farms, and steam locomotives always fascinated me.  Even more important is the people who made those things work and made the U.S.A. what it is today.
I would truly love to have your autograph for my book someday.
Again I admire your work and this is no sales pitch, I feel you and I have much in common.  My wife is the photographer here.  I am just a 60 year old guy who can write and is full of memories of many of the things you took pictures of over the years.
Please contact me when you can.

Don Edmisten

From: Donald D. Edmisten <donnsylvia@earthlink.net>

Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 12:19:04 -0400

Hello Mr. Plowden,
On your PBS show you mentioned that the good films and papers are disappearing and I couldn't agree more. What film were you using and what are you now satisfied with? I've tried a range and am leaning toward Agfa apx 100 for my winter's work in Donegal, Ireland (with a 500 c/m).

and thanks for your years of work

Rick Deutsch

From: rick deutsch <rdeutsch@spalding.edu>

Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 08:22:58 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden,
My boss Ed has long been a fan of yours.  He recently brought in one of your books so that I could experience the magic of your writings and photography.
Over the years, he has slowly put together a small collection of your books which he reads and rereads.
Ed is a very hard worker and spends little time in leisure activities.  Your books are truly a treasure to him.
Mr. Plowden, I know that you are a very busy man and probably have precious few moments but...Ed is turning 60 on Sept. 28th.  Would it be possible for you to send him an autograph for his birthday?  He would treasure it always...it would truly mean so much to him.
Ed is very shy and has confided in me that your books say the things he feels if only he could write.  I thought it was a lovely tribute to you and I wanted you to know how you have touched this mans life.
If you have the time or inclination to send the autograph the address is:
Ed Williams
Williams Stone Company, Inc.
1158 Lee-Westfield Road
East Otis, Ma.  01029
Thank you so much for your time and for sharing your gifts with all of us that think so highly of your talents.

Jennifer Foster

From: Jennifer Foster <Rockchoppers@yahoo.com>

Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 00:49:45 -0400

Hi David I never considered myself a photographer but I feel at
ease looking at your work. I was watching television a few weeks
 ago and was drawn in by what I saw. Now I look at things around me
a little diferently. I guess I look at things inside myself a little
differently to. Thanks for showing me a new way to think.

From: John ILmberger <jhoilm@home.com>

Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 15:07:46 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden,

I remember being 5 years old, standing in the dirt road outside my great grandparents farm in South Dakota.  Even as a small child I was thoroughly captivated by the long stretch of road, wind breaks in the distance, the blowing grasses on either side of me.  I vividly remember the smell, the sounds.  forty years later I had the chance to stand on that road again, just before the farm was sold.  there was that same wonderous feeling . . . .I can't explain it . . . . . . . open, wide, far reaching, living, breathing . . . . . .
another time I was leaving Lander, Wyoming.  As we drove up the road, we reached a plateau.  I quickly made my friend pull over, and I jumped out of the car.  I felt like I could reach up and touch the clouds.  there are times when being self-employed really does stress a person, and when it does, I close my eyes and visualize stepping onto the plateau and touching the sky.

your imagery of the land, coupled with the shapes, angles, and shadows of buildings is breathtaking . . . thank you

From: Fern Tompkins Benson <fern@fauna.com>

Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 15:00:31 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden,
I was fortunate to see a program on your photography.  Your images really do "sing" to me.  I loved listening to you describe your feelings about taking photographs.  Funny, I took various art lessons all of my youth.  And while I enjoyed every minute of them, it wasn't until I started photographing, that awoken my soul.  sometimes I swear it is dangerous to drive the roads, because my eyes are constantly scanning the images around me.
So thank you for your added inspiration of life.  My main feeling is that if is wasn't for passions like our creative expressions, life would certainly suck quite a bit.
Take care
Fern Benson
Paradise, CA 95969

From: Fern Tompkins Benson <fern@fauna.com>

Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 01:53:33 -0400

Dear Mr Plowden,
My name is David Smith and I have been a conductor for Union Pacific railroad for three years now. I have worked many miles of track in California and Nevada on the old Western Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads and the work that you do reminds me of moments of peace as I pass by the world from the rail, wondering what everyone else is doing. Thanks,  D.G.Smith

From: David Smith <zooinc@ix.netcom.com>

Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2001 22:12:53 -0400


you shall never know how inspirational your images and film have been to my photography. our passions, your trains, my airplanes, surface through our films emulsions, the latent image holding dearly to what we are. in tears, I watched 'Light, Shadow, and Form' once again, then walked over to the studio and hugged my Hasselblad's. the magic of the square format, the resonance of purity within the 6x6, and there you were expressing the same connection. I knew you looked at life as I did. you tasted the same joy, the same disappointments, and held fast the same hopes for your world. bravo David. thank you dearly, for sharing it all.

Daniel Taylor
Lightsmythe Studios
Vernonia, Oregon

From: Daniel Taylor <lightsmythe@agalis.net>

Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2001 19:06:17 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden:

Is there any way for me to purchase prints of your work that would be suitable for framing?  Your art is very comforting, being that I grew up just outside of Chicago, in the Southwest Corner of Michigan, and looking at your photos reminds me of the various road trips I would take with my family around the midwest.  I could type you ear off about your amazing sense of composition and light, but I imagine you've heard it all before.

Anyways, i would be honored to display your work in my home, but I am having trouble finding copies, prints, whatever I can get framed.  Could you help me?


David Ronto

From: David Ronto <rontdav@hotmail.com>

Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 18:00:44 -0400

Thank you David for sharing your exquisite photographs .I have experienced true pleasure viewing them. Is it possible to have a list of your books, and where to obtain them. Best wishes Gordon Shaddick. 6 Linden Close Winterbourne Bristol England U. K. BS36 1LG.

From: Gordon Shaddick <g.shaddick@blueyonder.co.uk>

Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 13:15:20 -0400


I am absolutely captivated by your photographs!   The images are very powerful and I too find myself drawn to the landscape and the objects we create and place on that landscape.  I work in downtown Chicago, and outside the fire escape from my building I can see several old water towers, that are also part of the disappearing urban landscape.  Consider them for some future shoots.

Several years ago, while taking a drawing class with Alain Gavin in Evanston, I spent several sessions trying to capture in watercolor the image from your 1971 photograph “Golden Valley, North Dakota”.  In fact I am so captivated by it I would like to get a copy of the real thing.  Can you suggest a gallery where I might acquire a print?


Will Van Dyke

From: will van dyke <vddesigns@aol.com>

Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2001 21:16:47 -0400

Thank you for all of your wonderful works, and for sharing them with the world. You are the inspiration that will bring me back to the darkroom after a 20 year absence. Only black and white can colour the soul. Thank you.

From: Gregg Widel <completehome1@home.com>

Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2001 14:08:30 -0400

Mr. Plowden:

Quite by accident last night, I saw the PBS program on your work narrated by Bill Kurtis.  Having had a technical education (I am a computer software consultant), I am largely uniformed regarding the arts and who is doing what.

Your images shown in the program astounded and captivated me.  Unfortunately, the program also greatly depressed me.
Why?  While computers are my vocation and my livelihood, photography is my avocation and one of my passions.  For some time now, I have been planning to hit the back roads of America in my van with my cameras to "go looking for America."  (Admittedly, I was influenced by John Steinbeck in "Travels With Charley.")  Now I see that in a very real sense, you have already done it.  I say this because from what I have seen of your images, I tend to take pictures that are highly similar to yours in terms of subject matter and composition.  I feel like I just discovered that I am the second man to invent the telephone.  I am, therefore, asking myself if there is any reason for me to go out and look for America.

I guess the answer is "of course there is."  The problem I now have is that I have to find something unique in myself (at least different from you) to bring to the taking of the pictures and to put into my images.  The solution to this problem is not trivial, and I guess I'm unsure as to what (if anything) I'll find.  Whatever it is, I guess it must spring instinctively from within, and not be calculated or forced.  Being the analytical type, this leaves me somewhat unsure of myself.  Furthermore, can a person be an objective
judge of their own images?  I know I can believe in the pictures I shoot, but who or what is the final arbiter of their worth?

I didn't mean to go off on a tangent here, but I appreciate your talent and your work.

I can't say that about many people.

Bill Moultrie

From: Bill Moultrie <moultrie@inil.com>

Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 16:33:37 -0400

Mr. Plowden,

Your documentary ran on Channel 20 locally in the Chicago suburbs (once the boonies) the other day. I was quite inspired by your work, which has provided me with new thoughts on the way that I can too document my current surroundings. My once familiar rural area is now are being swallowed by sprawl. The farmhouse that I grew up across from was burned down to make room for a new high school recently. As I walked the burned site a week or so ago I found relics of memories from the past, all the way down to the hand forged nails from the 1800's that were used to hold the structure together. I found four  huge trees anchoring each corner around the leveled house, now where yellow "do not cross" tape stands in place of the boundaries that were played in. Black and white photography so unassuming and unpretentious, what a wonderful way to see and tell the stories of the quickly changing landscape.

I am not a professional, barely an amateur in fact, but wish to start on this worthwhile quest. What an epiphany!

From: Chris Turek <cturek@allstate.com>

Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 14:31:02 -0400

David: I watched with interest on Nebraska 2 Public Television a program about you & your photography. It was a wonderful program & I am now viewing other photographs on the internet & they, too, are wonderful!  I am wondering; have you ever photographed the covered bridges in Winterset, Iowa.  There are seven bridges & I think the photographs would be so very nice, especially in the black & white photography.  Only one more thought I have as I have been looking at all your photographs is I also wonder if you have ever been to Maine, especially the small villages as Cape Porpoise, Maine, really a part of Kennebunk.  I have an interest in photography, but just with a little Kodak Advanced Photo System camera, but I have just purchased the new black & white film to use & hopefully I will have a few nice pictures.  When I grew up in Central Nebraska all we could purchase was black & white film & now it is considered a "speciality".  We live in Council Bluffs, Iowa now & it is not!
 often that I see nice photography of the Midwest.  Continue the wonderful work!

From: Jolene Jandreau <victorianlady4@home.com>

Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2001 19:56:59 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden,

I have been involved in photography for many years and have always had an interest in photographing buildings, machinery and variuos man made objects. I find your work profoundly moving, since it reflects  the subjects that we too often take forgranted. It isn't until they are gone that we place any importance on their beauty and importance in our lives. I have several of your books and read them over and over. Since I live in Des Plaines, would it be possible to bring them to you to sign. I would also consider it priviledge if I could see some of your work.


Ernie Stolle

From: Ernie Stolle <erniestolle@aol.com>

Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2001 16:28:05 -0400

Where are your pictures available for purchase in Chicago, especially the north side. Your pictures are great.

From: Greg <gofishin41@aol.com>

Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2001 16:01:42 -0400

Saw program on tv in re old barns.  I have the same feeling.  There are so many old barns aroung here that are falling down.  Soon there won't be any more.  I want to get my camera out and start shooting....fast.

From: Carole <mccue@bigfoot.com>

Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2001 15:57:11 -0400

Thank you for sharing some of your life.

I am watching your show "David Plowden: Light, Shadow and Form - WYCC 20 Sun Aug 5 2:00PM" with narration by Bill Curtis and commentary by David McCullough, family and friends.  (Re-airing Wed Aug 8 9:00PM)(Saw you and your art on ArtBeat Chicago, also)

From: S. D. Schroder <scott_schroder@hotmail.com>

Date: Sun, 5 Aug 2001 00:06:51 -0400

I have recently discovered your work as a result of a PBS program that aired last weekend at 5a.m.  I got up to use the, er, facilities and turned on the tube just as the program featuring you came on.  Must have been nirvana.  Very interesting work.  Some of it brings to mind Winston O. Link, but with your own branding.  Looking forward to discovering more of your work.

From: Scott F. Feighner <SFeigh@aol.com>

Date: Wed, 1 Aug 2001 13:55:06 -0400

hi david...keith brown here.  enjoyed the site.  email me back when you get a chance!

From: Keith Brown <keith.brown@foremost.com>

Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 10:34:01 -0400

Hello - I am drawn to your photos. I find in you a kindred spirit. I too base my photographs on adventure, chances and discovery. I like to help people learn to see in a different way.

You "New for 2001" photographs foundon this page - are they available in book form?. I would love to share the book with friends and colleagues.

Best regards,

Gregory Meadows
Buffalo, NY

From: Gregory P. Meadows <gmeadows@wolfgroup.com>

Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 13:36:09 -0400

I liked the documentary film about you on PBS, and your photographs are spectacular.

However, you should hold on to the steering wheel when you drive an automobile.

From: Matthew Roberts <netwright@compuserve.com>

Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 09:20:40 -0400

I live in michigan and heard that you visit Grand Rapids. Is this true if so do you ever teach semenars

From: craig auge <craigauge@aol.com>

Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 14:41:59 -0400

mr plowden....i recently had the pleasure of seeing your PBS special. i love black and white photographs and was thrilled seeing yours. continued success to you sir.        regards.. connie sampson  wellsboro, pa

From: connie  sampson <cjsres@epix.net>

Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 00:01:40 -0400

Hi Mr. Plowden.
   I just watched the special on PBS about your photography. I wanted to write you and let you know that I enjoyed both the show and your photography. As someone that has learned B/W photography in college, I can appreciate the hard work and passion that is involved in creating such beautiful images. I laughed as I saw you in your darkroom agitating the film cannister, while watching the timer. That is something that only those who have been there can identify with.
  Thanks for your contributions to american photography.
  --Ryan Irelan

From: Ryan Irelan <vannsant@bellsouth.net>

Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 08:16:14 -0400

I saw your profille on PBS the other night and was amazed at how some of the things you said and did reminded me a how I felt when I got my first camera at the age of 12. Now after 10 years of being a medical photographer here in Madison I have started to pick up my own camera again.
Your images and story have sparked my need to go out and photograph again, just like I did when I was 12.

Thank You
Jason L. Bye

From: Jason L. Bye <byejason@msn.com>

Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 17:13:22 -0400

His work is great!

From: Ernst <Eytbass@aol.com>

Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 14:33:04 -0400

  I happened upon our public TV channel late last night and
caught some of your "Light, Shadow, and Form" program.I was
so touched by you "eye", your talent, your philosophy, and
your work ethic that I hurried to the computer this morning,
in hopes that I could find a website about you.

  I am an accountant by trade (ugh!) and a (neophyte)
photographer by passion. When you spoke of your surprised
discovery that so much of your photography was based in
geometry, I felt a camaraderie! I know nothing of learned
technique, but I FEEL so much in the SEEING of a picture,
whether noticing something I want to shoot myself, or
viewing someone else's photo.

  Even though I'm not professionally involved in photography,
somehow I feel soulfully connected to it. And this "computer
age" saddens me. To watch you truly toil over the development
of your photos versus puching buttons on a keyboard was to
experience real artistic devotion.

  I read today that you are a midwesterner,as am I. In
so much that I am coming to a greater and greater obsession
with this art form at a fairly late point in life, I am
hoping that you may have suggestions for me. Do you know of
educators and/or photograhers in Kansas or Missouri that
conduct beneficial classes or seminars? Is it enough for an
amateur to just consume books on the subject? It would be
wonderful if having a love for an art form made one an
artist! But I believe some sort of education is most likely
required! As your fascination has been for locomotives, so
mine seems to be for doors and windows; with shape and age
and apparent history to them. Is there a particular
photograper with this sort of thing in their archive that I
might enjoy studying?

  I thank you for your inspiration, and for any response you
might send. I look forward to going to the library/bookstore
tonight to research you further! Thank you again.

From: Elizabeth Shipley <libbysply@opcvb.org>

Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 14:21:52 -0400

I love all of your b&w photos. You photograph all the things I am interested in, old buildings, things of the past. Keep on clicking all of it. We should never forget what was.I saw a show on tv about you lastnight. I love your work. Thank you, thank you. I knew I wasn't crazy for loving to take photos of old things and the past.

From: Sherrie <twetms@cs.com>

Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 12:30:27 -0400

Mr Plowden,

I am a photographer for a newspaper in Springfield Ohio.  I was flipping through the channels last evening (july 19) and saw one of your photos.  I stopped and watched your story.  As a fellow photographer, I love the solitude, peace and time I spent behind my camera.  I get a chance that not everyone gets to do and that is to show people everyday life through my eyes.  Because our styles are different, I often get hung up in the hustle and bustle of the everyday life of Photojournalism.  While watching your biography, I realized that I need to focus on the simple things in life and shoot for myself instead of the editors.  Your story has helped me realize that being able to take pictures, show people life through my eyes AND get paid to do it is one of the greatest gifts in life.  I am always looking for new ideas to please the readers eyes and you have help in that.  If you have ANY advice for a young photographer in my shoes I am always looking for ways to improve myself.  !
Thank you Sir.

Jim Laskay
Springfield New-Sun
Springfield, Ohio

From: Jim Laskay <Jim_Laskay@coxohio.com>

Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 11:54:51 -0400

Hello David.

I have to say that I have really enjoyed looking through your site and reading your commentary. It is a great thing to do what you love. Photography is so much more than what many people even think.  I am not a professional photographer ... but do it often out of pure enjoyment.I am kind of jumping all over the board here .. but I have to tell you something that someone once said to me.  I was in Amish country with my mom and another friend when we saw this older Amish woman walking down the road.  Since the farms are spread far apart we stopped and asked her if she would like a ride. The woman stopped and smiled and simply stated, "Think of all the beautiful things that you miss by not walking." For some reason this has always stuck in my head because so many people really don't see all of the beauty around them .. whether it's big or small.

Anyways...I love your work and hope that you continue doing it.  I actually heard about you from my mother. I am the daughter of Jim and Gina Valent in Salamanca, New York. Supposably you were at my farm a few weeks ago taking photo's for your new book.  I'm honored that you have taken the moment to appreciate our barn. It is a truly special farm with a lot of history and love put into it.  I wouldn't trade growing up on the farm for a million dollars. It's just too bad that I couldn't live a little closer to it now.

If you don't mind ... I would love to know when your book is out. I'll be sure to buy a copy of it.  Also, I am a freelance Illustrator and Designer in Atlanta if you ever need anything at all.

Have a wonderful day.

Kristen M. Valent

From: Kristen M. Valent <kristenvalent@hotmail.com>

Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 07:46:38 -0400

2:06 am n las vegas


your life has just brought joy, tears, and wonderfully touching memories to the surface with your work and ever so much more by sharing your perfectly human yet magical soul and it's treasure!...

not often in my fractured little world of soho consulting, whilst keeping virtually sleepless 'thomas edison obsession like' hours, do i take the time to turn from my desk rather than settling for stolen glances in a small mirror used to peek at my office tv over a shoulder (rather than turning from my computer), to become totally entranced as i have this early morn!

the pbs bio (felt more like a docudrama to me), "David Plowden: Light, Shadow and Form",  provided very touching ranges of emotional exercises for my soul.  hearing one who has recognized, be it intuitively or other, their life's calling early on and stayed the course serves as a vicarious mentor to those of us still reaching for their own "fixed shadows'!!

thank you, sir Plowden, your dear mother (for her faith in you), and your family and friends for contributing to a moving life's bio to be cherished forever in one struggling stranger's pathway!


Micah Hill
M2CA (Millennia 2000 Consulting)
5020 S Maryland Pkwy
Suite 23
Las Vegas Nevada 89119-1641

email mmoon@lvcm.com

From: micah hill <mmoon@lvcm.com>

Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 00:11:27 -0400

Mr. Plowden: My name is John Dodson i photographed the replica steam engines at golden spike monument in utah. It has by far been my best photograph's to date. I would like you to see them and give advice. Your work is wonderful.
If interested in seeing them please email me.
Sincerely  John Dodson

From: John Dodson <kilroyphoto@aol.com>

Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2001 22:19:34 -0400

At a friends house one night, during a midnight conversation, he brought out your book.  I'm a young photographer and writer, and felt and inspiration like I've never felt before when viewing your book.  It's amazing, and at the very least, brilliant.  You touched my heart, and let my own voice flow into my images like the wind that blows over the plains.  I'm from South Dakota, and have seen it like you have.  I'm so amazed to find someone with that eye, and with the heart and soul to photograph like you do.  Best,

Patrick  Sibson

From: Patrick Sibson <patsibson@hotmail.com>

Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 17:44:57 -0400

David Plowden -- Last night I watched the terrific PBS documentary about your life and work.  Very interesting!!!

I noticed a Wyoming state flag on the desk behind you in several in-office interview scenes and kept waiting for some indication of a connection between you and Wyoming.

Was that your desk?  If so, what is the significance of the Wyoming flag?   Thanks /// Jim Mathewson (Cheyenne, Wyoming)

From: Jim Mathewson <jim_mathewson@hotmail.com>

Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2001 15:18:24 -0400

Mr. Plowden, Thank you for the images on this page, they really do show your mastery of the B&W medium and
seriousness and value of the direction of your work.

I saw the special on you and your work on television and began to think of what you might do here in Alaska. I am the director of the Alaska Photographic Center, a nonprofit fine art photographic organization formed to promote and educate Alaskan photographers in Alaska and abroad. Each year we invite a nationally recognized photographer to come to Alaska, give a workshop (of their choosing), jury our annual statewide photographic competition (Rarefied Light), and give a public lecture. Past years have seen such artists as Jay Dusard, Robert Dawson, Judith Golden, Rosamond Wolfe Purcell, Michael Kenna, Chris Rainier, George Tice, and Jerry Uelsmann.

We are scheduling for 2003 and 2004. The window that we give for the workshop/exhibition is between the last week of July through the middle to late part of August. If you have any interest in being our featured artist in one of these years please contact me at halgage@alaska.net , or by calling (907) 272-4356 to discuss details.

Best regards,
Hal Gage
director of the Alaska Photographic Center

From: Hal Gage <halgage@alaska.net>

Date: 12 Jul

Dear Mr. Plowden,
Having grown up in the America you have recorded for us, I have been deeply touched by your images and your "seeing" of a vanishing country.  Truly a remarkable "Veronica's Veil."
I am most grateful for all the imaginative memories you have shared; as an amateur photographer, I can begin to appreciate the excellence of your work, and I shall look forward to
enjoying your books, especially the one on steam, one of my great lost loves.
Many thanks again for the craft of your work and for your art, and good luck.

Peter Wright

From: Peter M. Wright <pmwright@earthlink.net>

Date: Sat, 7 Jul 2001 21:04:01 -0400

I used to work in Whiting,IN. near East Chicago.  I feel your photographs.  Thank you.

From: Mark Suardi <Msuardi@aol.com>

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2001 23:00:30 -0400

Take an odd cool evening on a summer night with peace in the air and an open mind full of thoughts flying through your head as you smell the brisk moisture in the air after the sun has gone down.

   I got your special on PBS and was intriqued.  I enjoy your work and your Point of View in catching the suture of each moment.

Where can I obtain more knowledge on your art?

Thankyou for the Moments in Time,


From: Brad <bdycus@hotmail.com>

Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2001 18:58:15 -0400

Dear mr plowden.  I saw a special on yourself the other night on pbs.  I totally loved your work.  Especially one picture.  However i have not been able to find it.  So i was wondering if there was anyway you could e-mail a copy of the picture i'm looking for.
The picture has a r.r. Grade crossing sign in the corner of the frame with a great northern boxcar spotted in front of a  feed mill.  I'm into r.r. 'S and i just loved that picture.  So, if you could please send a copy of it or direct me where to find it i would be ever so grateful.

Sincerely Yours

Clark Loper
2 quiver drive
west warwick,ri 02893

From: Clark Loper <train12869@aol.com>

Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 11:56:08 -0400


I would like to know where I can purchase your work.
Steve Bucheleres

From: Steve Bucheleres <sbucheleres@cbre.com>

Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2001 15:37:24 -0400

I just finished watching a program on WHYY, Philadelphia's channel 12, about yourself, Mr. Plowden and the absolutely wonderful photos you have taken in your lifetime.  I thoroughly enjoyed the program and are now in search of hopefully just as wonderful a photo journal at the book store on your pictures that speak mountains!  Not only do your pictures tell a story but you yourself are a wonderful story-teller.  Thank you immensely for sharing yourself through your talent with others.

From: Debbie Flanagan <dflan301@att.net>

Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 15:48:11 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden, Where can I obtain a print of the Erie-Lackawanna R. R. Station Scranton, Pa. 1964?

From: Richard C. Kunkle <kunksax@earthlink.net>

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 12:14:10 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden:  I have been an admirer of your work for many years.  I started my career as a tower operator and train dispatcher on the Erie Lackawanna in Hoboken, so we share a common background.  I shoot 35 mm, mostly with Leicas.

In the late 1960s-early 1970s, before I know of your work, through my interest in trains I visited many places and photographed buildings and bridges that I later found in some of your books.  I instantly realized that you are a kindred spirit.  One example:  In June 1968, when I was 18, I rode an excursion train from Hoboken to Binghamton.  We stopped at Lordville NY for a photo run-by.  While the crew was backing up for the run-by, I turned and noticed the big old run-down house along the north side of the track with the great stained glass windows.  I photographed the house and the train and didn't think about it for a couple of years until I bought a copy of "The Hand of Man on America" and there was your photo of that great old house!  Were we both there on the same day?  It would be interesting to know.  I have not been through Lordville in many years and do not know if that house still stands.  I sense that either it has been restored or it is gone by now.

Are you ever in the New York area?  If so, it would be great to meet you some time.  Thanks for taking the time to read this.


Noah Caplin

From: Noah Caplin <ncaplin@ekmail.com>

Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 16:15:20 -0400

Mr. Plowden,

I've admired your work for years, purchased your books, sought out your originals and tried in vain to decipher your technique.  If you please, would you be kind enough to settle my mind and share your preferences for film, paper and chemistry?  (I hesitate to ask--I once posed this question to Max Yavno, and never heard from him again.)  Your work is truly a treasure--thank you.  Best regards, Alan Blakely

From: Alan Blakely <alan@blakely.com>

Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 14:08:30 -0400

Hi, I love your photographs, and am doing a report on you for my photography class. By any chance could you email me some basic facts about you?
I was just wanting to know, how you got started and why you chose photography for a career. If you could help me with this, that would be g reat.

From: Jennifer <skibunny202@hotmail.com>

Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 15:11:53 -0400

Hello David.  My name is Keena Fixsen and I work at Fallon, an advertising agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota.   I'm working on a BMW project and am curious if you sell your images as stock?  I'd love to hear from you!
Thanks for your time.
Keena Fixsen

From: Keena Fixsen <keena.fixsen@fallon.com>

Date: Mon, 14 May 2001 08:12:49 -0400

Hello Mr.Plowden,
I have a question pretaining to your photo of The Pheobe Snow at Scranton PA. It was on the cover
of your book, "A Time of Trains". A group of us want to know how the shot was done, with what type of equipment
and if the people were posed?

Tim Wakeman

From: Tim Wakeman <tmwake@warwick.net>

Date: Mon, 7 May 2001 17:04:11 -0400

Dear Dave,
We enjoyed the article about you in H&G. It brought back memories of our visit with you in Putney (1954) and the times we accompanied you on photographic trips by the railroad tracks near New Haven.

We are now living in Vero Beach,Fl and spending our summers in Nantucket. We havre your fine book about Nantucket. We have three children and 4 grandchildren. Herc is retiring in June after a career in the financial world.

We would lilke to hear about you!!

Looking forward to purchasing your bridge book when it is reissued.

All the best,
Herc and Peggy Segalas

From: Herc Segalas <hsegalas@aol.com>

Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 16:30:48 -0400

I am interested in purchasing a photograph of yours.  How much do you sell them for, or do you have a price list for particular images?



From: Peter Jenny <peter@verdigris.com>

Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 11:30:04 -0400

Mr. Plowden,

I absolutely love your work.  End of An Era and Imprints are fantastic, they are permanently displayed on my living room end tables.  I shoot a lot of landscapes around Michigan (Ships, Lighthouses, Old factories etc.) in 6x6.   My question is what is your preferred film and how is it processed?  Do you use any Black & White filters and are you a true zone system user.

Joe Harrington
Lake Orion MI

From: Joe Harrington <trailjlr@cs.com>

Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 16:46:54 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden,

About a year ago I saw a wonderful special on the local PBS affiliatte. Part of the program included your teaching at GVSU. It was such a delight to realize you were in the area, though unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to see you. Will you be returning to GVSU to teach?

Kindest regards,
Bill McMannis

From: Bill McMannis <w.mcmannis@worldnet.att.net>

Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 21:57:06 -0400

For a short period in my life I was active in photography as a hobby.  It was at that time that I discovered your work and came to the opinion that yours is some of the best out there.  My reason for that is not one of a technical matter but one of content.  While pictures of mountains are nice they tend to be tiring.  Everyone does it.  The topics of everyday work and life have more appeal due to the fact that I can relate to it in my everyday experience.  My vocation is an engineer with a very large aircraft modification facility in the great lakes area and as such see and work within the images you photograph albiet aviation.  Your photos do convay a sense of industrial pride that is hard to find in the corporate boardrooms.  If I ever start taking photos agian I am sure that I will do something in the same manner as you have by taking photos of those people and planes that I work with and fly on.

Carry on; your work is great.

DH Shaffer

From: Don Shaffer --- <usermar2008@netscape.net>

Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 21:55:08 -0400

For a short period in my life I was active in photography as a hobby.  It was at that time that I discovered your work and came to the opinion that yours is some of the best out there.  My reason for that is not one of a technical matter but one of content.  While pictures of mountains are nice they tend to be tiring.  Everyone does it.  The topics of everyday work and life have more appeal due to the fact that I can relate to it in my everyday experience.  My vocation is an engineer with a very large aircraft modification facility in the great lakes area and as such see and work within the images you photograph albiet aviation.  Your photos do convay a sense of industrial pride that is hard to find in the corporate boardrooms.  If I ever start taking photos agian I am sure that I will do something in the same manner as you have by taking photos of those people and planes that I work with and fly on.

Carry on; your work is great.

DH Shaffer

From: Don Shaffer --- <usermar2008@netscape.net>

Date: Sun, 8 Apr 2001 13:00:53 -0400

Dear Mr. Plowden,
Recently bought your book, Imprints.  I've thoroughly enjoyed it.  I find a haunting beauty to many of your subjects which evoke a nostalgia for my hometown.  I grew up in Sandusky, Ohio (your book contains two photos from there).  The nostalgia is for the machinery of an old-rust belt town and the outlying countryside of barns and farmlands.  Also, enjoy your writing.  Think you write a wonderful travel narrative of the places you visit.  Again, enjoy your work.  Sincerely, John Kropf

From: John Kropf <kropferama@hotmail.com>

Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 20:19:43 -0400

In your 1968 photo of the railroad bridge at Tyrone Kentucky, you refer to the bridge as the Tyrone Bridge. The bridge is actually named Young's High Bridge, built in 1889.

From: Harold Peach <hpeach@pop.uky.edu

Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2001 15:51:01 -0500

You have a great looking web site, Mr. Plowden.  I really enjoy viewing black and white photographs.  Somehow, to me, they seem to have a much more interesting range of textures and tones than any color films will ever have.  The way in which you use light also makes a big difference.  Color slide and print films for the most part work great under conrolled conditions or during perfectweather.

An exception to that statement would be O. Winston Link's use of color slide in his last book about the Norfolk and Western.  Mr. Link was a true master of the night when it came to photographing the steam scence.  All of the color views in "The Last Steam Road In America" were just beautiful.  However, I still admire him even more for his use of black and white film.

In my opinion a photographer can do more with a roll of black and white film than he/she could ever do with color.  When you look back at some of the greatest images rcorded on still film from the last century, which had the most power?  I would say hands down it would have to be those events recorded in black and white.  Would the images recorded by Dorthea Lange have had the impact that they did if color film had been available at the time?  I say definately not!  Even today those scences that she and her associates recorded during the Deprssion can still create strong feelings among those viewing them. Most of the greatest news events of the last century up until the 1960's were recorded on black and white film.  Even today, I think that black and white images in the press can evoke more feeling than those taken in color.

With all the various color slide/print films available on the market today I still prefer to shoot black and white.  Many raifans prefer color because it is so widely available at stores.  You also for the most part see these people out photographing trains during good weather or daylight hours only.  I like shooting black and white for a number of reasons.  The first and best is the fact that black and white is a 24 hour a day, 365 day a year film.  Meaning that it is usable in any type of lighting condition that one may encounter in the world.  I have been out photographing trains on more than one ocassion long after the "chrome" shooters have gone home due to poor weather or less than perfect light.  It is during these times that any black and white shooter can capture some really great images.  Secondly I shoot black and white because I can develop and print whatever I need myself.  I can have much greater control over the finished product myself than I could if I just sho!
t slide film.  If I shoot even half a dozen rolls of slide film per year that is a lot for me.  While all of the "experts" are debating which is the best slide film to use, I just ignore them and keep on shooting good old black and white film.

I have been shooting black and white now for the most part over the last l8 years.  I really got into shooting black and white when I purchased my first Mamiya 645 camera in 1982.  I have no regrets what so ever in chosing black and white over color. Medium format also can give better results for prints than 35mm can ever do.  Two years ago I sold most of my 35mm equipment without losing any sleep over the matter.  Today, I am the proud owner of three Mamiya 645 cameras and lenses along with a Yashica Mat 124-G twin lens.  I really enjoy working with medium format more than 35mm.

I would also like to know what type of cameras and films that you use for your black and white work.  I have always noticed that your images have a certain 'snap' to them that most photographs lack.

Jeff Morfit

From: JEFF MORFIT <jmorfit@omniride.com>

Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 12:21:43 -0500

Mr. Plowden-

We are writing about your work (June issue) here at House & Garden magazine. I have a question for you-

You grew up in Vermont?

Thank you. Your work makes me both proud and sad to be an American.

Keith Bearden
House & Garden

From: keith <keith_bearden@condenast.com>

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