I recently read an interview involving the photographer Stephen Shore. In it he spoke of turning away from using more typical cameras (SLRs and rangefinders) for large format cameras, and eventually his iPhone. He had used an 8×10 camera for several decades and found that using an iPhone felt similar. Rather than looking through the camera, he found himself looking at a screen. To him this screen is reminiscent of the experience of looking on the ground glass of a large format camera. He spoke of how he methodically used his iPhone and only makes one picture, two if it is of people or a moving subject. The above image was made using my own phone.
The above triptych was made while my friend Erik and I were enjoying dinner at a local Japanese restaurant. Viewing them together they seem to speak about emptiness. Three scenes, all of which feature empty chairs. In the middle image was the last image I made. A large group had just finished eating, and I jumped up to grab the shot before the table could be cleared off. I felt that showing the remnants of a meal, and a large meal at that, but with only empty chairs surrounding the table further emphasized the idea of emptiness.
kidney: I was touched by the family’s display advertising a need for a new kidney. Nowadays, when displaying any personal information is seen as a risk, even the act of advertising your phone number and blood type seems like a bold statement. However, it pales in comparison to the boldness and bravery found in the a call to action seeking a willing organ donor. I hope (and am assuming) they don’t mind, but here is the number featured on the display: six-zero-nine-seven-eight-nine-six-four-eight-two. Please contact them if you have any information which may lead to a new kidney.
Afternoon Sky: These images were made al within the span of one hour, as the light in the sky changed from a hazy overcast, to a partially clear blue sky, and finally a cloudy display just before sunset.
Tiffin: I have known about the ubiquitously Indian lunchbox simply referred to as Tiffin (my tiffin, your tiffin, the tiffin, etc…) for some time. Tiffin is the English Indian word for a light meal- think “tea-time,” but can also serve as a replacement for the word “lunch.” It took a while for me to remember it and consider it a possible solution to my need for a convenient, mobile method of carrying around food. It wasn’t until recent, when my neighbors delivered food for me (packaged in a tiffin container) when I was feeling unwell, that I remembered Tiffin.
I prefer, whenever possible, to cook my own meals, and I am excited to finally have an extremely convenient and compact solution to bringing a home-cooked meal with me when I’m out of my apartment exploring, hiking, or on a long journey. Sometimes you have to go looking for inspiration. I was not the only person excited about my purchase of tiffin. The employees working the cash registers of my local Indian supermarket all made sure everyone knew that this small white man was buying tiffin. It made me laugh. They made sure I knew what it was and were thrilled when I told them that I knew.
I decided that such an occasion had to be documented. So as soon as I got to my car, I placed the tiffin on my roof and framed out a shot. The sky was dim, and I wanted to capture some of the color in the sky. Just as I began to press the shutter button, which is more of a lever on the camera I was using, the distant flood light flickered on. I knew it was going to add a great little element to the image. Yes, it is a bit dark. That doesn’t matter. I am so pleased with how the image turned out, and I know that every time I look at it I’ll be reminded of how happy it made me, and the smiles on those cashiers faces.