Location: 10th and Vine Vicinity
Print size: 11.5” x 17”
Camera: Nikon FM2n
Lens: Nikkor 105mm f2.5
Film: Tri-X at ISO 200
Develop: HC110 1:49, 6.5min at 68F
Scan: Epson V500
Print: Epson 3880, Piezo inks on Moab Lasal paper
This shot was a second try with the same subject and composition. On the first, I was too far away. The frame had to be cropped too much. The razor wire just didn’t look threatening enough. Shooting 35mm has been a good discipline in that if I don’t utilize nearly the full frame, the photo falls short of the mark; it demands mindfulness from the get-go.
I think perhaps it’s a human tendency to want to pull into an image as much as possible, when what the photo needs is less, reduction to essentials. When we see something that affects us, there is an excitement and a desire to grab hold of it, but in photography a hard-learned translation has to go on. The camera sees a small area and mechanically/abstractly; it doesn't feel the wind or smell the air, the hardness of the pavement, the events that led up to the photo and one’s physical and psychological state. Alfred Stieglitz talked about the photograph, as being an “equivalent” to what the photographer was experiencing, which is essentially the same idea.
Practically, this often means getting in closer and trying different camera-to-subject positions so as to start to approach wherein the subject lies. That the subject is not merely, and may have little to do with, what the lens is pointed at, is the difficult and engaging paradox of doing this kind of work.