Young photographers captured vanishing Cajun culture during a trip from Chicago in the ’70s | Entertainment/Life

Eager to escape Chicago’s bitter winter, two young photographers jumped into a car and headed south in 1973. Douglas Baz and Charles Traub didn’t care where they were going as long as it was relatively warm.

Along the way, they attracted attention whenever they stopped to take pictures — hardly surprising, since one of their cameras was a boxy old-fashioned model, featuring a hood and sitting atop on a tripod, that looked like a holdover from the 19th century.

“Someone said, ‘Well, it sounds like you’re interested in landscapes and food. You ought to go across I-10 into Cajun country and check it out,’” Baz said.

So they went, following the Great Mississippi River Road and having no idea of what they might encounter when they arrived.

Baz and Traub both had master’s degrees in photography from the Illinois Institute of Technology, but their road trip preceded the work that

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