From Uncertain to Blue
By Peggy Roalf
In 1986, photographer Keith Carter set out on a Texas road trip with his wife Patricia in celebration of their ten-year wedding anniversary. Having been inspired by a chance meeting with the famous Texas playwright Horton Foote, Carter decided to focus his observations on his native East Texas as an exotic land.
Once the couple was on the road, the rules were simple: one town, one photograph. Each night, they would circle a small town on their highway map, usually a place with a funny or intriguing name. The journey began in the little East Texas town of Uncertain and it ended in Blue nearly a year later. The road trip was a journey of self-discovery for Keith as well. He had inherited his mother's family portrait business back in Beaumont Texas but that business just didn't hold his interest. This road trip was a chance for him to make the kind of personal photographs that he wanted to make.
The new edition of From Uncertain to Blue (University of Texas Press 2011), designed by DJ Stout of Pentagram, with Barrett Fry of the Austin office, features a new cover image, essays, contact sheets, a detailed travel journal and an essay that lends insight into Carter's creative process.