A snapshot of Odeon at the Paris Metro and a black and white high contrast image of the super structure of a Marlboro billboard taken in Cambridge, Massachusetts, both photos taken in the late seventies: those are some of the first photographs I have taken of billboards. It wasn't until I started digitizing my old negatives that I discovered those photographs some thirty years later. After those two early photographs, it wasn't until 2008 with my introduction to digital cameras that I once again became interested in taking serious photographs.
While spending part of each year in the Philippines and riding a lot in cars, I decided to start photographing from the car and billboards became one of my interests. The Metro Manila area of the Philippines is a rich area for one who is interested in billboards; that is why most of the photographs in this book are from Manila. Other billboards were found throughout my travels to other countries. Although I have never really liked billboards, and it was good that laws were legislated to restrict their use in the United States, I still find them extremely interesting. How they relate to their environment, their increase in size, the quality of printing, and the addition of digital mega-screens are some of the changes that have taken place from those early years.
The cover background shows Coca Cola painted on a wall of brick, an example of a vintage billboard in Washington, DC. A photograph of grass was then used to reverse out the title of this book, thereby suggesting the hope that one day billboards could be turned into vertical gardens. That said, I hope you enjoy my selection: photographs of billboards in their environment from around the world.