Caleb Stein

Down by the Hudson

Best Black & White Documentary work

Down by the Hudson by Caleb Stein.

Best B&W Documentary Work Gomma Grant 2018.

"'Down by the Hudson' is a record of my life in Poughkeepsie, a small city of around 32,000 people in upstate NY. Poughkeepsie is a vibrant place with character and life, but it's also seen some hard times.

Many of the mom-and-pop stores that lined Main Street have closed down, replaced by corporations on Route 9. IBM used to have its headquarters in Poughkeepsie, but a series of layoffs left many of its offices empty, almost like a modern-day ghost town. In many ways, Poughkeepsie's story is the same story as countless other small cities struggling to get by in a rapidly shifting economic reality.

In the past couple of years I've walked the same strip of Main Street hundreds of times. I'm not from a small town, and, at first, I thought Poughkeepsie was like a Norman Rockwell illustration, with its vintage diners and autumnal majesty. Then I started walking downtown and befriending people.

I heard their stories and saw patterns of violence, poverty, drug addiction, and prostitution. Things were looking pretty bleak until this summer when I began photographing in a hidden Edenic watering hole behind a drive-in theater where people go to cool off and let their guard down.

Here was a place where people from all walks of life came together and shared a space. A true paradise on earth. "

Down by the Hudson.
Caleb Stein.

Caleb Stein website

REGISTER FOR GOMMA DESPATCHES. The new Gomma periodical newsletters.

Stay up to date with Gomma and its projects, and with what is going on in the photography world.