“The pop cans have been my collaborators on this journey. They seem to make their own decisions and they almost always create images that are different than the ones I planned. All put together, the images in this book are much like the route itself – they are little fragments that add up to tell a story about who we once were and who we are now.”
— Wes Pope
FOREWORD BY MICHAEL WALLIS
“Wes Pope has become a hunter of ghosts. He does not seek the ghosts of folklore or imagination. He searches for the familiar and iconic sights and faces along the winding road, but interprets them in a completely original way. Mostly, he looks for forgotten and often neglected people and places that somehow linger and persevere against the odds. Route 66 is revealed in a true and authentic light.”
What do aging beauty queens, modern day cowboys, aliens, and Roy Rogers all have in common? Route 66.
Photographer Wes Pope's book, Pop 66 is comprised of amazing photographs made entirely by pinhole cameras (camera obscura) constructed from pop cans. This technique, more than a century old, helped the author create a dreamy and surreal visual narrative for his adventures along America's legendary Route 66. "Perhaps this is the best way to photograph a road trip. The images are blurred and distorted, just like memories. And the sequence conveys something like the America of our dreams."
- Claire O'Neill / NPR
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About the Author
Wes Pope grew up in Auburn, Washington. He learned to love the open road on long summer trips around the West in the family's propane-powered van-a passion that has never faded.
The sixth-generation northwesterner turned a University of Washington undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology into a newspaper career that took him from Washington to Alaska, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, Colorado, New York, Arizona, and California, working as a photojournalist for the Tacoma News Tribune, the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Rocky Mountain News, the Chicago Tribune, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others.
Adding motion pictures to his story-teller's skill set, Pope earned a master's degree in Documentary Film and History at Syracuse University. He has documented the work of climate scientists on the Greenland ice sheet, co-founded Story Arc, a cinematic journalism workshop, and shared his knowledge of the art and technology of visual storytelling in classrooms and workshops across the country.
Pope is currently Co-Director of the Multimedia Journalism master's program in the School of Journalism and Communications at the University of Oregon, Portland.