Chronicling Downey, one photo at a time

DOWNEY - Pam Lane always had a passion for photography, but after years of taking pictures, the Downey native decided last year to take her hobby to the next level."I wanted to find a way to combine my interest in photography and blogging," said Lane. "I heard about this website - Paris Daily Photo - where a new photo of Paris is uploaded every day - I thought, "I can do this." Inspired by the Paris site, Lane collaborated with fellow photographers, Joan Anderson and Allison Mansell, to establish DowneyDailyPhotos.com, where the three Downey residents post new pictures of the city each day. Lane, who currently works for IBM as a technical writer, hopes the site will reveal a side of Downey that many residents don't see. "I wanted to get out of the rut of thinking I have to go somewhere beautiful to take a beautiful picture," she said. "Downey is so diverse - we want to show people what Downey is." Currently, the site features dozens of pictures that vary in scope, creativity and focus. From a shot of a remote-controlled car whipping through Wilderness Park to an intimate photograph of a father tying his son's shoelace, the photo blog captures people, buildings and objects that personify the essence of the city. While Lane favors photos that are historical in nature, Anderson finds interest in the small details and the close-ups. "It's just more fun," said Anderson, a full-time Costco assistant warehouse manager. "For me it might be a door - It's natural to get side-tracked, but there's daily beauty that's all around you." Mansell, who has done photo projects with Anderson and Lane in the past, looks for the people in every scene. "Whenever we go places, I look for expressions, candidness," she said. "We drive by these things everyday - everybody knows the Krikorian and El Taco. They're familiar things you can share with people but put them into an artistic form." Since the site's launch last month, the photo blog has already accumulated nearly 300 page views; a figure that Lane hopes will continue to grow. "We want to do this for at least a year and then we'll see what happens," Lane said. "Initially, I was overwhelmed at doing one photo a day. Downey's a pretty small town, but it's about the people you encounter - the crossing guard - and the things I see - how Warren has changed or where I used to go to church." In the future, Lane hopes DowneyDailyPhotos.com can be added to CityDailyPhoto.com, a larger photo site that provides the links for a wide range of daily city sites including those capturing Mexico City, Phoenix, London, South Pasadena and Greensboro.

********** Published: January 15, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 39