Travis Dewitz: 2016 Fred A. and Jane R. Stindt Photography Award
Travis Dewitz, Altoona, Wisconsin, received the award for a significant body of work making an
outstanding contribution to the photographic interpretation of North America's railroading. His dual contributions to the visual history of railroads are unusual. His creative photographs have been published in the traditional manner in print in books and magazines. But just as significantly, he has interpreted the railroad and its historical impact through displays and his websites.
In his blog (http://www.therailroadcollection.com/blog/) he shares a wealth of information about a variety of topics such as historical railroad geography; bridges such as the pontoon at Wabasha, Minnesota; and evaluations and rankings of coal country, steel, and railroad photography books. By giving guests the opportunity to contribute, he boosts the blog’s value.
His railroad photography can be seen on his website, The Railroad Collection (http://www.therailroadcollection.com). His series (http://www.travisdewitz.com/) such as industrial (coal, crude oil, frac sand, grain elevators, logging, and steel) places heavy emphasis on the railroad’s impact on these industries.
In the traditional print world, he received the Grand Prize, Trains Photography Contest, 2011; Honorable Mention, Creative Photography Award, Center for Railroad Photography & Art, 2013, 2011, 2009. Group exhibitions have included “All Aboard, Railroads and the Historic Landscapes they Cover,” Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, N.J., 2014; “Wisconsin Railroads Today,” East Troy, Wis., 2013; and “A Story of Three Photographs,” Sacramento, Calif., 2011.
He has been published in many books and magazines including Trains, Railfan & Railroad, Montana Rail Link calendars, AmtrakVacations, The Soo, Railroad Heritage, Canadian Pacific calendar, Railroads Illustrated, and North Western Lines. The full list, with many non-railroad items that complement his railroad photography, is at http://www.dewitzphotography.com/press-and-awards/, His fascination with trains is intertwined throughout much of his work. "I believe they are an iconic part of the American experience that I enjoy photographing one frame at a time. Each small slice of time has the ability to influence or affect your emotions and state of mind,” he writes (http://www.dewitzphotography.com/about/).
Dewitz specializes in commercial photography for companies and small businesses throughout the Midwest and editorial styled portraitures. He has grown up with trains. Railroads are one of his passions. Amazing lighting and strong composition are key components to his railroad photography.
His journey into photography probably officially started when he was 13 years old in 1993. His significant body of work accumulated in the two decades since then makes an outstanding contribution to the photographic interpretation of North America's railroad history, and qualifies him for the R&LHS Fred R. and Jane S. Stindt award.
The full citation will appear in Railroad History.