I’ve used this space before to try to raise visibility of photo projects, especially when photographers are trying to raise money. Before I ask others to chip in, I make sure I do. But what makes some project’s successful and others not is a mystery to me. Especially when the projects are so strong, so singular, and done by photographers who have been shooting for quite awhile. They have put their sweat, their dreams and their hard work in to make their project come to fruition.

And in the spirit of what I’ve spoken about before–helping others , I want to acknowledge and promote two fantastic projects here, and I urge you to join me and donate to both–they’re well worth it!

I met Douglas Ljungkvist several years ago when he showed his work to me. He had a unique eye, and was drawn in a fascinating way to structures and to color.

Ocean Beach Douglas Ljungkvist

Maybe being Swedish has something to do with it, because his attraction to light and to angles was his own. Today is is trying to raise enough money for his marvelous project, “Ocean Beach” to become a Kehrer Verlag photobook. When Douglas began photographing he had no idea he was creating a historical document of a time and place that no longer exists. Hurricane Sandy took care of that.

Ocean Beach is the document of a summer life past.

As Douglas says on the Kickstarter site:

“It was 1946 when Fred Pearl and his partner Edward Patnaude purchased a tract of land, then desolate and brush-filled, just north of Lavallette NJ. Two laundry deliverymen who over the next 20 years turned this tract into a vacation paradise named Ocean Beach.  Their vision was to build affordable beach houses for working-class families. They began by building basic one- and two-bedroom cottages that started at $2,095 and were merely four walls and a roof with no paneling or insulation.”

These little gems allowed people their little slice of nirvana, and an escape from the summer heat of the city. Douglas wanted to document these outstanding examples of kitsch before they were renovated and modernized to attract new vacationers. Hurricane Sandy brought Douglas back to Ocean Beach to photograph the damage. Since then, 35 of of the 39 cottages facing the ocean have been demolished.

Ocean Beach Douglas Ljungkvist

Kehrer Verlag will be publishing this monograph, but Douglas our help to raise money for its printing. There are not that many days left so donate whatever you can (there are some fantastic rewards offered), and help Douglas Ljungkvist succeed.

Marc Wilson has been photographing some of the physical remnants of WW2 in Britain and Europe before they disappear forever. His landscape still lifes are strong, somber and quiet, yet eerily filled with memories of violence.

The Last Stand Marc Wilson

 Studland Bay I, Dorset. UK. 2011

The work is gorgeous, and Marc has put a lot of miles and work into this project already. He needs our help to bring it to conclusion.

The image above shows Fort Henry, the reinforced concrete bunker where, in 1944, King George VI, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General Dwight D. Eisenhower watched “Exercise Smash,” a full-scale rehearsal for the D-Day landing.

As Marc says:

“I see every landscape as a witness to war and the passing time, each with a story to tell, whether it is one of unfulfilled defiance or one of tragedy.”

The Last Stand Marc Wilson

Lossiemouth II, Moray, Scotland. 2011

The photograph above shows a series of defences built by 1940 along the Moray coastline to slow down a beach landing and possible German invasion from Norway.

There’s a sense of urgency to this project since some of these remnants have been lost by removal, leaving no reminder that they were ever there. One of the things I love about this project (besides the fact that it is history relatively unknown) is that Marc has photographed them as still life, with the landscape they are found in adding layers of emotion that speaks so eloquently of a time in history I can scarcely imagine.

One of the things that photography is best suited for is capturing something before time erases it. And as Marc says on his Emphas.is page:

“Over these three years I have so far travelled over 11,000 miles to 80 locations to capture these images along the coastlines of the UK, The Channel Islands, Northern France and Belgium.The power of these locations to contain the histories and memories of conflict and sacrifice are palpable.”

The Last Stand” is a photographic document of history, and like “Ocean Beaches“, time is taking its toll.

Please join me in supporting these two beautiful photo projects and help them to see the light of day. It’s important.


Photographs courtesy of Douglas Ljungkvist and Marc Wilson