Dyer Street Portraiture

This photo documentary project focuses on the denizens of a military street - Dyer - in El Paso, Texas, 1983. The photo sessions are staged in the sense that the subjects are posed in relation to their surroundings. A 20mm lens (extreme wide angle) is used to "condense" the view, and show the backdrop/background. The subjects' posture and expression come across as natural, but their "look" is manipulated through constant encouragement. They're not smiling, and in Chambers' opinion, a documentary portrait should not include this kind of expression. As soon as a subject smiles for the camera, he or she breaks character. This action dilutes the nature of the image, and it becomes nothing more than a standard studio portrait.














Dyer Street Portraiture (solo show), PhotoForum On-Line Gallery, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, U.S.A., 1997.

Photo 1991 (Dyer Street Portraiture) (group show), Lincoln [Flanagan] Campus Art Gallery, Community College of Rhode Island, Lincoln, Rhode Island, U.S.A., 1991.

Photo Show 1988 (Dyer Street Portraiture) (group show), Corridor Gallery, Department of Transportation, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. (sponsored by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts), 1988.

Dyer Street Portraiture (solo show), The Silver Bullet Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. (listed in the Notable Exhibitions section of American Photo magazine, March, 1986), 1986.

Photo 1985 (Dyer Street Portraiture) (group show), The Gallery of Fine Arts (Southeast Museum of Photography) , Daytona State College (Daytona Beach Community College), Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S.A., 1985.

Dyer Street Portraiture (solo show), Southern Light Gallery, Amarillo College, Amarillo, Texas, U.S.A., 1985.


"The black-and-white images record a diversity of common people in an urban habitat with an ambiance of film noir." (Notable Exhibitions section, American Photo magazine, March, 1986)

"Your images are strong, direct and honest." (Arthur Goldsmith, Editorial Director, Popular Photography magazine) (1984)

"The images are well seen, and the concept seems to be viable. The series is a clean, well-photographed group of pictures." (Beaumont Newhall, Photographic Historian, The University of New Mexico) (1984)

"I hope a wider public will have an opportunity to see the pictures." (Peter Bunnell, Photographic Historian, Princeton University) (1984)

"It was very good to see the images, and I found them quite strong, both formally and emotionally." (Keith Davis, Curator, Photographic Collections, Hallmark Cards Incorporated) (1984)

"You have some very good pictures. I wish you lots of luck." (Mary Ellen Mark, Documentary Photographer) (1984)

"I always appreciate another person's very sincere efforts at his craft." (Judy Dater, Fine Arts Photographer) (1984)

"I was pleasantly surprised to look at your work. I believe it's the strongest I've seen." (Robert Hirsch, Director, Southern Light Gallery, Amarillo College) (1984)

(If interested in learning more about documentary portraiture, go to Chambers' lesson. It's also listed with It's Art Baby! Art! and Profotos.)