Friday, November 12, 2021

Everything Looks Different From The Air

James Ward Robertson, born in 1913, combined his love of flying and photography to record both beauty and commerce on the Southern Oregon coast during the last half of the twentieth century.

In “Everything Looks Different from the Air,” author and editor Barbara Robertson Drake shares insights into her father’s life story and tells us some of the experiences that led him to create his work. Beaches, waterways, and bridges; life extending from Coos Bay and along the coast; massive ships serving worldwide trade; fishing boats, lumber mills, and logging; the first community college in Oregon—they are all here in the photographer’s eye. 

Much has changed since these pictures were taken but they also reveal the lasting character of a unique landscape. The inspiring collection stands as testimony to an artist’s eye and the ordinary, breathtaking dreamscape of the visible world.

Drake’s non-fiction books Peace at Heart and Morning Light, from Oregon State University Press, were both finalists for the Oregon Book Awards. She has also published collections of poetry, textbooks, and other writing.

Over 175 color and B&W photos
Choose Add to Cart to buy a signed copy from the author for $29 + $5 shipping
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Photos copyright estate of J Ward Robertson

South-facing flying view of the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve at low tide. The Cape Arago highway crosses the South Slough Bridge here in Charleston. This old bridge was replaced in 1991. A glimpse of boats in the marina, lower right.

Dunes, north spit of Coos Bay. They look like whipped cream from this height

Downtown Coos Bay. Look for the Tioga Hotel and other landmark buildings in this photograph and others to orient to the landscape. Images of boats, trains, and log rafts on the waterfront show different activities and changes before the development of the waterfront with the current visitor’s center, displays, and boardwalk. This picture was taken after Central Avenue, which once led directly out of town, was divided between Commercial and Anderson Streets by a new Coos Bay Police Department building on Central, the long building near center in this picture.

Aerial of Coos Head Timber Company plywood, sawmill and stud mill at Eastside.

Firefighters going to work.

This is the Rogue above the bridge at Gold Beach. I wouldn't have known but my dad noted the location on the back of the photo. Probably 60's or early 70's. I'm guessing those people on sand and boats had gotten word that the salmon were running.