Photo Essay


Hinge is closed, Door Open

Entropy? What kind of theme is that? It is a word that few even understand. A word hardly ever used gets to have a theme?

As unusual as the term is, it describes the theme that drives many of my photographs. I often tried to use terms like still life photos, landscapes, or other, but entropy just fits so well.

"Curtis Neeley's Exhibit of Photo Showing Entropy" is a title that sounds odd. OK. It sounds bad.

Studying thermodynamics while majoring in mechanical engineering at University of Arkansas {}, I learned about the second law of thermodynamics. It deals with physical processes and whether they occur spontaneously or ENTROPY. My thermodynamics class is not a primary influence on me. Does the ice in your drink melt if spilled outside on a warm, sunny day? Yes, but not if it is freezing outside. If it is below 32 outside, the whole drink freezes and warms up the air around it. Entropy!

I like to take photos of old junk. I am a brain damaged, triplegic photographer. Old junk and scenes of decay appeal to me and reflect my body's condition. Old junk and decaying things just sit and wait to have artistic photos taken of them. This is great for a photographer confined to just sit in a wheelchair!

Entropy is the measure of a spontaneous process. Ice melting is an example to help one get the general idea. A soda that is losing its sizzle is too, but these are not usually exciting things to photograph.

When I see an old cabin showing signs of a changes or spontaneously decomposing, I am moved to create art photographs and almost spontaneously. An old car, an abandoned house, or an old church will do the same.

I did not know to call them photos of entropy until I read about this theme.

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