Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 25, 2012.

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I've shot all 850+ dots on the map of North Dakota, and now I want to photograph some of the tiniest places in the big open west.

I love small places, out-of-the-way places, desolate places, middles of nowheres, ghost towns, and other places that have a name but not much else. I've photographed every dot on the North Dakota map, and now I'm planning a new trip through the western US (and possibly Canada) photographing the tiniest places I can find.

My Work So Far

Over the past ten years, I've photographed every town in North Dakota, plus many places in eastern Washington, and some in Montana, Saskatchewan, and Minnesota too. You can see a selection of my photos on afiler.com, or see a list of places at everydot.com or you can take a look at my flickr stream, at flickr.com/photos/afiler/. My work in North Dakota will go into a new book calledĀ Every Dot on the North Dakota Map.

The Trip

I'm currently poking around South Dakota and Nebraska finding places to photograph. Your funding will help keep me going! If the Kickstarter is successful, the more funding I get, the longer I can spend photographing (at least until the snow falls!). On this trip, I will shoot new material for a book called Small Places.

Two Books

Book one: Small Places. This will be a limited-edition book of photos of the smallest places I can find -- unincorporated places, ghost towns, long-gone railroad towns, and other places just big enough to have a name. I expect there will be about 50 full-page color photographs in an 8x10 book.

Book two: Every Dot on the North Dakota Map. This book will include one color photo from every place in North Dakota I could find. That's 866 places, by my count, and I believe that includes every single "populated place" listed in the USGS place name database (excluding mobile home parks), plus a few historical places and other places not listed in the database

Photographic Influences

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Bad weather could possibly delay photography, though it's been a very sunny and dry year in this part of the country.

Depending on how many books I need to produce, my printing options will change. If it's a large run, I can get standard offset printing. For smaller runs, I have other options like inkjet printing. I've made beautiful hardbound books in quantities as low as 1 before, so I don't expect to have trouble making this work.

FAQ

  • Stuff will be shipped as soon as it's available, so rewards that have multiple pieces will come separately rather than all in one shipment. All postcards will go out in November, even for the $350 level, all Small Places books will go out by January, etc.

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  • Before 2009, I used a succession of Olympus cameras, an E-10, E-20, E-1, and E-500. I was always very happy with the Olympuses, and I think the E-10 was one of the best choices available when it came out.

    Photos shot in 2009 and later were shot with a Sony Ī±900, mostly using a Zeiss 16-35mm F2.8 lens. This is a full-frame camera, so 16mm is "super wide", and I think really makes skies look even better, as it pulls in more clouds and seems to add more color. The super wide lens also helps me do perspective correction in the same way one might use a shift lens. Since I can't actually shift the lens, I just zoom out to 16mm and then position, say, a grain elevator near the top of the frame until it looks "square". Then later on in Lightroom, I crop the photo to re-center it. This does mean that I lose effective resolution, but at about 25 megapixels, it's not a huge loss for post prints.

    Nearly everything is shot hand-held -- only for shots like in Fessenden (http://www.flickr.com/photos/afiler/sets/72157618531619142/) and Glover (http://www.flickr.com/photos/afiler/sets/72157623017751373/) did I use a tripod.

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    34 backers

    A hand-signed hand-mailed photo postcard of a small place sent from a small place.

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    2 backers

    A 3" pinback button of one of my photos of a small place.

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    21 backers

    A signed 4x6" print of a small place photographed on this trip.

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    4 backers

    A signed 4x6" print, a 3" pinback button of one of my photos of a small place, and a hand-signed hand-mailed photo postcard of a small place sent from a small place.

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    6 backers

    A wall map of small places. It looks like a regular map, but it's missing all those big cities and medium-sized towns!

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    1 backer

    A wall map of small places, a signed 4x6" print, a 3" pinback button of one of my photos of a small place, and a hand-signed hand-mailed photo postcard of a small place sent from a small place.

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    A signed 8x10" print of a small place photographed on this trip.

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    22 backers

    A signed copy of the first edition of the Small Places book.

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    2 backers

    A signed copy of the first edition of the Small Places book, a wall map of small places, a signed 4x6" print, a 3" pinback button of one of my photos of a small place, and a hand-signed hand-mailed photo postcard of a small place sent from a small place.

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    5 backers

    A signed copy of Every Dot on the North Dakota Map. This is over 850 photographs!

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  • Pledge $350 or more
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    8 backers

    Everything! A signed copy of Every Dot on the North Dakota Map, a signed copy of the first edition of the Small Places book, a wall map of small places, a signed 8x10" print, a signed 4x6" print, a 3" pinback button of one of my photos of a small place, and a hand-signed hand-mailed photo postcard of a small place sent from a small place.

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