Piece description from the artist
During a photo tour last year in Japan, I was standing in a parking lot waiting for our bus — and freezing. I told myself to get busy and find something to photograph, knowing that would get my mind off the sub-freezing temperatures.
I reasoned that if there were people around, there were photographs to be made. I just needed to push myself to see them.
That’s when I noticed these four young men shovelling fresh snow and sleet from the pavement. It seemed a distinctly Japanese scene to me because they were so organized and scooping and walking and scooping again in unison across the parking lot. Japan is a very conformist and organized culture, which made this scene such a metaphor.
Robert Dodge is a writer and fine-arts photographer with specialities in travel, documentary, portrait and LGBT themes, as well as iconic scenes of the nation's capital. Robert has lived in Washington, D.C., for more than 30 years, first as Washington correspondent for The Dallas Morning News. He is currently on a long-term, self-assignment in Bangkok, Thailand, and photo shooting in Southeast Asia as covid restrictions permit. After leaving daily journalism in 2006, he founded Robert Dodge Visual Media. His first major project focused on what happened to Vietnam in the four decades after the war. The project was printed in 2014 as a book, "Vietnam 40 Years Later," by the Italian art-book publisher, Damiani. Ten prints from the project were acquired by the U.S. Library of Congress for its permanent historical collection. The project won top honors in FotoWeekDC's Uncover/Discover contest in 2013. In 2010, an image from the project won an honorable mention in the Santa Fe Workshop's LIGHT contest. And more recently, an image from the book was a winner in LifeFramer's 2020 contest, YOUTHHOOD. As a journalist, The Dallas Press Club honored Robert for his Dallas Life Magazine story "Mr. Bentsen and the President," which chronicled the close relationship between Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen and President Bill Clinton. In 1999-2001, Robert was president of the National Lesbian and Journalists Association. Robert continues to work on writing and photography projects and is available for commissions.