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A massive photo project surveying all 400+ parks in Seattle. A tribute to Seattle's "natural advantages."
89 backers pledged $5,105 to help bring this project to life.

About

Natural Advantages: The Photography of Seattle's Parks project video thumbnail
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$5,105

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One day while doing research on the history of the parks system in Seattle, I was browsing the city's website and I was shocked how many parks had absolutely no photographs of them represented. I decided then that I would photograph every park in the system--not a small undertaking, as there are over 400 parks in Seattle, with new "parklets" being built even now.

Vanishing Point
Vanishing Point

I put in three years photographing parks all over Seattle and completed photography on 270 of them. Then something happened in January. The main partition on my computer drive crashed. I thought this was no big deal, as I had them all on a backup drive dedicated to the project. I purchased a new, larger hard drive for the computer the next day. The data had transferred to the new Western Digital drive. During the night, the backup drive then crashed, leaving me with only one copy of all my work.

Then the new drive proved faulty. It crashed the next day before I could replace the last one. Three drives failed in the space of four days, including a brand new one, consigning about 200 GB of photographs and three years of work to oblivion.

Screen of doom
Screen of doom



The estimates to recover the information on my crashed drives run about $1500-1800. I have meanwhile kept photographing parks (now up to almost 300) and have bought more drives and a burner to back up things onto DVD (since my in-computer CD burner has also failed). Once I am done I plan to release the project in three forms.

1) A hardcover coffee table book;

2) A much more thorough and intricate digital version, both on DVD and online, linking the photographs to each other so that they may be explored chronologically, alphabetically, geographically, by feature, by size or randomly; and

3) A mobile phone & tablet app that will locate parks by GPS location and show gallery images from those parks and others within a chosen radius.

Ballard Bell Tower
Ballard Bell Tower

I've always loved Seattle's parks. I grew up playing at Seward and Colman Park and bicycling along Lake Washington Boulevard. This is a project that needs to be done not for me but for Seattle. Therefore I am releasing all the photos with a Creative Commons license so that the city can finally have photos of all their parks, but more importantly so that Seattleites themselves can freely share them.

I am in the homestretch now on the project, but I need help in making up for lost work and time. I'd love your support.

Kubota Gardens bamboo
Kubota Gardens bamboo

The money from the Kickstarter will go to fund the recovery of my pictures from the hard drive. What is left will cover premiums and, with some luck, help me work faster on completing the project. The more money contributed, the more premiums I will make.

Risks and challenges

Risks: The parks themselves offer little risk. Few are likely to close for maintenance or otherwise become inaccessible to the camera. They are public and do not require shooting permits. At the current pace the project should be complete by Christmas, barring force majeure (highly unlikely). Time and health are the only limitations.

The primary challenge, after funding, is to recover as much data as possible from the drive(s). Even a partial recovery of 60-70% would keep me on pace to finish near the end of December. Knowing which parks I would have to reshoot, if any, will also make that process much faster. A full recovery is about 80% likely, according to my last estimate.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    1 4"x6" print, and a warm and fuzzy social media "Thank You!"

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    An electronic version of the book, complete with photographs of every park, and a warm and fuzzy social media "Thank You!"

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    27 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    1 archival quality 8"x10" signed print of your choice, a hearty Thank You on social media and in the printed version and digital version of the book.

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    16 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A printed book of the project, plus a DVD of the original photographs from the electronic edition of the book, and a hearty Thank You on social media and in the printed version and digital version of the book.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    1 archival quality 8"x10" signed print of your choice, plus a digital edition of the book, and a hearty Thank You on social media and in both the printed and digital versions of the book.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A limited edition folio 1 of 10, featuring 5 8"x10" prints, signed and numbered, plus a DVD of the original photographs from the electronic edition of the book, a hearty Thank You on social media and in the printed version of the book, and a Special Thank You in the digital version of the book.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    A limited edition folio 1 of 6, featuring 10 8"x10" prints, signed and numbered, plus a DVD of the original photographs from the electronic edition of the book, and a Special Thank You on social media and in the printed and digital versions of the book.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A limited edition folio 1 of 6, featuring 10 8"x10" prints signed and numbered, plus a printed edition of the book, plus an additional signed archival 8"x10"print, plus a DVD of the original photographs from the electronic edition of the book, and a Special Thank You on social media and in the printed and digital versions of the book.

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Funding period

- (30 days)