Feb 20, 2008

the large and small of it

i made a solid trip north this past weekend, and i feel like i'm finally starting to hit a stride. the film is in the mail, but things went well this time around. my head is swimming with photos, made and unmade, and the possibilities. there is one aspect though that i'm still fiddling with.

i first began this project shooting 35mm, digital. although i made a few strong photos i really wasn't feeling it. i wasn't representing the space as i wanted. this quiet, lonely, enormous space seemed small in my photos, cramped. so, i went across to using a 4x5 and started over. it's exactly what was needed, but one older image has still haunted me (from a previous post). it's a photo i took of the road from inside my moving car early on. it represents everything i feel in between taking photos. i'm having a difficult time seperating my experience from the viewer's. i can't help but think that the feeling of the road itself has to be part of the equation, and how to do it now that i'm shooting with a larger format. stillness and motion; the two feelings are actually polar opposites, but both an indispensable part of the feel of the road.

on the one side, there are the immensely vast spaces and characters. the landscape is so lonely and humbling. it a big space, that calls for a big camera. the 4x5 seems more respectful of the setting. however, the other side is the time spent in the car. time spent hurtling though this vast wilderness. i have a need to make this project just as much about the road as the landscapes and people, but without making traditional photos of the road itself. i can't seem to do it justice.

truth is, the road still scares the shit out of me. it makes me anxious. claustrophobic. as many times as i've been on the Dalton, that instant that my tires his the dirt as they leave the pavement of the Elliott Highway for the Dalton gives me chills.

so, as i drive, i've been carrying my trusty 1N with a 50 in my lap, shooting from the car. i'm not sure yet that it works. i'll need to see how some fit once i have produced more solid images- both 35mm and 4x5. can they reside together? larger landscapes and portraits, broken up by smaller, more abstract prints? it's still too early to tell, but these are some rough scans of the attempts so far..

listening to Ryan Adams


Shark Senesac said...

I feel there is a romanticized aspect surrounding the use of a large format camera, which ultimatly becomes inherently apparent- perhaps it's the relationship constructed between the time spent and intention(?).

david b said...

Make the work any way you have to.

Paul Pincus said...

Incredible shots #2 and #3.

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