This photograph shows the entrance to my house, seen from an unusual point of view.
I’m finding the 4×5 camera a challenge – I have yet to develop a feel for it – to ‘see’ as it does, and need much practice and experience before I can reliably produce work I’m happy with.
So, to make a virtue of necessity, for the duration of the lock-down I am photographing our house and garden using the 4×5 camera.
It’s nice to be able to spend ages setting up a composition, getting the focus and the ‘movements’ right – all done under a large, vivid red focusing cloth – without curious onlookers breaking my concentration (which large format photography requires much more of than 35mm photography).
I’m not the greatest lover of cars: I passed my test, unenthusiastically, when I was well into my forties and resent now living a life that obliges me to drive.
A photographer interested in the beautiful ‘mess of reality’ has to come to terms with things that maybe don’t interest him, or which may be a bit at odds with his aesthetic sense. Especially so when that ‘uninteresting thing’ is as omnipresent as are cars.
I no longer feel irked when there’s a car parked in front of an interesting old building, or spoiling a beautiful landscape. I dive in and photograph away, relishing the challenge of making something beautiful and meaningful from the notional incoherence the car has introduced into the scene.
Occasionally I capture something that I’m quite pleased with…
“Un seul être vous manque, et tout est dépeuplé.” (One person’s absence and the whole world’s empty)
Alphonse de Lamartine