“The Stack” was a self assigned project I did when black and white film was a purchasing choice at your local camera store and the teachings of Ansel Adam’s zone system was in full swing.
I was trying to launch a freelance photography career which meant I needed to get better and I needed to build my portfolio.
It was the mid 80’s and Interstate 10 stretched across the southern portion of the United States. It begins in Jacksonville, Florida and ends in Santa Monica, California. The only problem was the interstate was incomplete through the Phoenix metro area. The freeway literally ended and you were forced to drive surface streets through downtown Phoenix and beyond to eventually get back on the interstate.
Construction began to finish the last part of the unfinished Interstate. Being a curious photographer, I approached the construction company and asked if I could sign a waiver so I could be allowed access to photograph the construction. I choose to focus all my attention on the I-10 / I-17 overpass nicknamed The Stack. It was the biggest construction project in the area at the time.
Once the liability release was signed, I was allowed to go where ever I wanted. I shot a mix of overviews, men working, abstractions and details. During the process I found the abstractions and details more interesting. So, I purposely created a portfolio of storytelling images from a personal viewpoint.
The project was edited down to these final images and used in a magazine called Trends. Trends was a business information and lifestyle magazine much like Phoenix Magazine. They titled my portfolio “The Missing Link” which I thought was supremely clever and my portfolio cover 6 pages.