Thursday, March 6, 2008

I am a small man.

Adam Golfer, from the series Pioneers

Years ago, when I was just discovering photography, I was driving down Broadway Avenue in Boise, Idaho and noticed that just beyond the shadow of the giant football stadium, on the outskirts of the hundreds of cars in the parking lot, two neighborhood kids had borrowed a couple traffic cones to set up a makeshift roller hockey court. At the time, I was struck by how small and oblivious they seemed in relation to the machinery of the world and I cursed myself for not having a camera on hand.

There are plenty of photographs I haven't made that stick in my head, the ones that got away, but for some reason, this one keeps coming back, even now, at least ten years later. I'm guessing that it has something to do with scale. Not just the physical scale of the kids in relation to the stadium, but that constant questioning of the scale of me/us in relation to the world. I can't help but think that photography, if not all photography, at least the kind that I practice and gravitate towards, is nothing but an examination of scale; the constant questioning of what's out there (in both the physical and emotional worlds) and how I/we relate to it. The small person in a big space isn't the only way to deal with that, especially if it becomes formulaic, but it can be pretty effective.

Mitch Epstein, West Side Highway, New York City 1977

from the Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames

Joel Sternfeld, Approximately 17 of 41 Sperm Whales That Beached and Subsequently Died, Florence, Oregon, June 1979

not the same whales (this is from 1970), but certainly of interest:


Stephen said...

Check these out.

Photolucida said...


Photolucida said...

oops... i'm in the midst of creating a blog for photolucida and just realized i've been posting here under their name. pardon the confusion.

Photolucida said...

shit... i'm still doing it.

shawn said...

there we go...