“Something from Nothing” by Roddy Parkinson

I am a retired photographer and photo teacher who has never gotten tired of shooting. I started in Vietnam in 1967 and have never looked back. I’ve made a living doing all kinds of commercial work, but have never gotten tired of carrying on with my personal work as well.

I was on a weekend road trip to Caddo Lake and saw an old burned building facade along the road in Hawkins, Texas. I stopped and shot the wall in two sections (two images) of which this is one.

I enjoy photographing things that would normally go unnoticed or ignored; making something from nothing. I have a rather large body of work I refer to as History Today, Gone Tomorrow. I sometimes shoot the same place year after year and in different seasons, until one day I drive by and it’s gone. Gone, but still preserved in my images. While I may have a destination in mind on road trips, it’s really the journey that often counts the most. I’m old enough now and some of my early work has taken on importance as part of history.

Photography helped me readjust to civilian life after Vietnam and has been an incredible therapy. My main reason for teaching has been to share my passion and I now have a huge extended family of former students and friends who I often travel with. Natural areas along with state and national parks are my main focus, but the small towns along the way are of interest as well. I have a magnetic sign on my car saying “History Today, Gone Tomorrow… Photographing the USA”.

I was teaching at a high school and in 2004 decided to turn the darkroom into a studio and replaced enlargers with computers. Photoshop and digital imaging took the place of film at that time and I haven’t used film since. As someone who for over 45 years spent a fortune on film, paper, darkroom supplies, and other related items, I love the freedom to shoot almost without cost, and the portability of digital images. I love the great amount of control I now have over my images.

What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

I like the fact that it is not the kind of thing most people would even notice, much less stop to photograph.

If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

I am very pleased with what I got.

Roddy Parkinson shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Roddy Parkinson, Dallas, Texas, USA.

Equipment and settings

This was with an old beat-up Sony A7 with an old Nikon AF 18mm f/2.8 AF-D lens adapted to it. All manual settings and focus.

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Comments (2):

  1. Cary

    December 19, 2021 at 21:29

    Hope you were able to come in much closer for some additional fine and varied details shots !

  2. Kristin Smeltzer

    January 24, 2022 at 10:40

    My husband was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease at 67. His symptoms were shuffling of feet, slurred speech, low volume speech, degradation of handwriting, horrible driving skills, and his right arm is held at 45 degree angle. He was placed on Sinemet for 7 months and then Sifrol and rotigotine were introduced which replaced the Sinemet but he had to stop due to side effects. We tried every shot available but nothing was working. There has been little if any progress in finding a reliable treatment, I quit my meds due to side effects. Our care provider introduced us to Kycuyu Health Clinic Parkinson’s herbal treatment. The treatment is a miracle. My husband has recovered significantly!


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