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Forced Photography is a 160-page collection of photographs by Brian Poulter presented in two parts.
Part One: A collection of photographs shot by photojournalist Brian Poulter during a two-week motorcycle trip following the Mississippi River from New Orleans to its source in northern Minnesota. He and award-winning writer Jim Standerfer traveled the back roads of America look for a snapshot of the places and people found along its greatest river. Poulter abandoned his bag full of camera equipment, shooting only with a point & shoot camera for the entire trip.
Part Two: A chronicle of Poulter's work as he challenged himself to produce publishable photographs on a daily basis using only a point & shoot camera. This work shows the result of Poulter's month of finding an unplanned photograph every day as part of his daily routine.
Book Excerpt : Guns were held to our heads. The demand – that we publish photographs and blog daily as we traveled from New Orleans, following the Mississippi River north to its source at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota. We had to stay on back roads and we had to do it on motorcycles. Jim and I had no choice.
We had helped put the guns to our heads. We had told our friends, family, co-workers and our students about the trip.
The embarrassment that would result if we backed out – that was the gun held to our head. The possible embarrassment were the bullets. There was no backing out.
How had we put ourselves in this situation?
Well, we are not very bright.
Brian Poulter is a professor of journalism at Eastern Illinois University where he teaches Photojournalism. He previously worked as an award-winning photojournalist at small and large newspapers on the East Coast and in the Midwest. He is a proud graduate of the University of Wisconsin (MFA- Art) and he has a BA in Mass Communication (photojournalism)from Winona State University. He is also the co-author of News Sim, a series of interactive news writing simulations published by Wadsworth. Often poulter can be found, weather permitting, cruising the back roads of Illinois with camera in hand. He has never been convicted of a felony. He is always kind to animals.