“Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.”
I know that many young photographers – and many of the masters – are known for their portraits.
Street portraits, especially.
I have quite the collection of faces, to be sure, but I really enjoy documented the forgotten and ignored spaces, the things we tend to intentionally disregard. Man-made environments that man tends to rarely, if ever, wander. There’s a quality to these spaces that interests me.
“A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.”
~Dorothea Lange (1895 – 1965)
This is an image that would fit well into a series I started (and abandoned) a long time ago, consisting of abstract photographs in red, white, and blue, usually of broken, decaying, or aged surfaces. The idealism attached to the colors of our nation’s flag, contrasted against industrial patterns, chipped paint, and scratched surfaces seemed, to me, to represent what we were enduring during the early days of the great recession.
After the housing market crashed and local economies began to suffer, jobs began to evaporate. Construction projects in metro Tucson stopped dead in their tracks. Rent-a-fences sprung up around half-completed housing projects, graffiti proliferated, and I was laid off from my job at a local photography lab and retouch studio. I had some time on my hands, so I started making something of a documentary about the death of the American Dream, and it eventually evolved into something a little more aesthetically pleasing and less overtly depressing.
With this image – and with the image I made for April 1st – I might consider finishing the series.
This is one of my more elaborate designs from this series. The textures and compositions of back-alleys – behind store fronts, grease traps from restaurants, and rusted dumpsters – have always fascinated me. These are the areas we ignore, behind the neon and spruced-up facade of our local shopping centers, and I like taking my camera to the places that are right there, practically right in front of us, but that we ignore.
I will likely be publishing this as a completed series sometime soon, so please to check back in if you find these interesting.