Sound Transit Light Rail

Peter de Lory was commissioned by the Sound Transit art program in 1999 to produce a collection of photographs that chronicle and interpret the building of the regional transit system connecting the Central Puget Sound.  In February 2005, in collaboration with friend and fellow photographer John Lewis, Peter focused his lens on Link light rail construction which will be completed in 2009.
Building a modern transit system is an epic venture, the complexity of which falls almost beyond our ability to take in as single task. Yet without the work of each individual, seen or unseen, the project would never be completed. In my role as photographer-in-residence for Sound Transit I am the observer of both the monumental and the individual. The power of photography in this context lies in its ability to act as a pointer, drawing attention to a moment’s importance and freezing it in the frame. I see and reveal that which is hidden, whether a task, or a critical piece of infrastructure.
Donning hard-hat, safety vest, eye protection and metal-toed boots, armed with a heavy camera bag and tripod, I visit an expanding number of Sound Transit project sites, moving in and around the machines and workers. Over time and multiple visits, I become transparent and can freely explore what I find visually exciting and humanistic, so participants can see their part in the larger project. What may appear to be construction chaos has a definite order and logic. Everyone is part of the process.
I try to reflect this dichotomy of scale and purpose as I photograph, choosing to work in black and white imagery, lending a timeless quality to the images and creating an archival record of the effort.
**Heartfelt thanks are due to photographer John Lewis who stepped in at a crucial early point in this protect during 2005 when I was unavailable to do the work.