Thomas Carr has extensive experience with medium and large format archival film photography that is required for state and federal historic preservation documentation programs. This includes the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), and Historic American Landscape Survey. Over his 40-year career he has documented hundreds of historic sites. Since starting his own consulting business in 2016, he has conducted almost 50 documentation projects. Mr. Carr's experience as a photographer, archaeologist, and historic preservation specialist make him especially qualified to conduct work of this nature. Please see the descriptions below for the different types and levels of documentation. Also feel free to visit his cultural resource management company website.
Level I documentation is done as part of a general cultural resource survey. It is the most basic level of documentation and can be done with a film or digital camera. Prints and/or digital files are stored by the client.
Level II documentation involves the use of a medium format film camera and the production of archival prints. The negatives and prints are archived at state historic preservation offices.
This is the highest level of archival documentation and involves the use of large format film cameras. The negatives and prints are archived at the United States Library of Congress.
Fort Steele and Jeffrey City are two interesting places in central Wyoming. Fort Steele was a frontier fort build to defend the Union Pacific Railroad in the 1800s. It is now a state park with a few standing buildings, fireplaces, foundations, and various other features. Jeffrey City is a town north of Rawlins that is largely abandoned. During the middle 20th century the local uranium mines and mills supported a much larger population.
Every few years I try to take my younger son on a photo expedition during his spring break. This year we took a whirlwind 4-day trip across the Mojave Desert. Many of the stories from this trip are told on my Instagram feed.
In October of 2019 I traveled to Arizona to photograph an archaeological site for the National Park Service. I decided to make a side trip to this amazing ghost town called Ruby. It's about 16 miles from the nearest town in a mountainous area just three miles from the Mexico border. It was the largest and most intact privately owned ghost towns I've ever seen or heard of.
In March of 2018 my younger son James and I took a road trip to Arizona. We stopped at a variety of places along the way. One of the stranger locations was the ghost town of Two Guns. It's located along Route 66 and was established in the early 20th-century as a roadside attraction. It had a zoo and various amusements. The site is also the location of a tragedy - the Apache Death Cave. In 1878 a group of Navajo warriors massacred 42 Apache warriors as retribution for a previous attack. I actually went down into the cave. It had a melancholy feeling.
In May of 2018 I traveled to Nice, France to attend the Solaris Film Festival. A film that I worked on with Kayla Briet and Isabella Dos Santos, "Solitude, Darkness, Light" was accepted for screening, and since I’ve always wanted to go to France, I thought it would be worth looking into. The only way I could afford to go was to make it a short trip, and only ended up being in Nice for only two days. I made the most of it and ended up having a wonderful time. I met some amazing filmmakers and artists at the festival, and I gave myself time to walk around the city. Since 1984 I have been a fan of French photographer Eugène Atget (1857-1927). So, while I was there, I couldn't help myself in making photographs that emulated his work.
Between 2016 and 2018 I was part of a cultural resources team that documented the historic resources along the I-70 corridor in Denver that were going to be affected by the demolition of the 1960s era viaducts and the expansion of the new highway. I took almost 1000 photographs. Here are about 70 that show the range of places.
This series of photographs is a look back at the history of the Cold War from a personal perspective. Historians generally agree that this conflict lasted from around 1947 until several years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Having been born in 1964 in the middle of this era, I experienced this period as a child and young adult. I also had the privilege of visiting Russia in 1994, which is featured in another gallery on my website called "Vladivostok". The photographs in this portfolio are a mix of straight and composite images - some are even presented as a sort of "what if?" scenario. They are combinations of contemporary places, historic sites, objects, and Cold War era propaganda posters. This series represents my real and imagined fears of atomic energy and my general fascination with the time period.
From 1942 until 2008 this large property located northeast of Denver functioned as a United State military production and storage facility for chemical weapons, bombs, and rocket fuel. Habitat restoration and demilitarization efforts on the site started in the middle 1980s, and in 1992 Congress passed the Refuge Act. By 2004 the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge was open to the public under the administration of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. I've visited the site about five times since 2015. It's an odd mixture of history and nature that's worth visiting.
Since the early 2000s, the Montezuma Valley in Southwestern Colorado has been experiencing something of a rebirth of the apple growing industry. The Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project has been surveying and promoting conservation efforts at many historic orchards. In 2015 I had the pleasure of getting a tour of the Neal Family farm. It was amazing, and I even got to eat several heritage apples straight off the tree.
This portfolio is a long term documentation project of the historic places and natural landscape associated with the southern Atlantic Coast along South Carolina and Georgia. I have only shown individual images in juried shows. In 2019 I completed a book about the project that is available through Blurb publishing.
In 2005 I had the opportunity to travel to a number of historic places in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. I used a 1958 Rolleiflex 3.5E TLR 6x6cm format camera. Several images from this trip were featured in exhibitions between 2006 and 2009.
In the fall of 1987 I spent two weeks documenting my family hometowns in Ohio. This project was more of a personal visual ethnography. I used a Mamiya C330 6x6cm format camera. About five of these images were included in several exhibitions in the late 1980s.
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