This is my first post in a year. My passion for typewriters, books and fly-fishing hasn’t abated, but I have focused my energies on photography projects. Since my last post I have published five photography books: “300 X 200,” “Feeling My Way Toward The Door,” “Urban Poems,” “The Open-Air Bookstore” and “Fragments,” my latest collection, available on Blurb. I consider them attempts to capture the poetry of the mundane, the song of the commonplace. “300 X 200” takes place in a small parking lot and “The Open-Air Bookstore” in a recycling center, and the others are in large part street photography. In that genre are the images in “Fragments,” taken 12 years apart and shot primarily in the Southern California cities of Oceanside and Escondido. They are explorations of San Diego’s urbanscape. Here are some excerpts.
It started as a lark: go to the swap meet in Oceanside, California, just to check it out and maybe find some cheap cameras. I had told a good friend about a project involving an alternate take on downtown Oceanside, and she suggested a narrower focus. The project became a reality after a few trips. Doing a maquette for publishers is hundreds of photos and edits away, but the pictures so far have kept me coming back. There is a social aspect to it: most of the vendors are Mexican, and there’s a high level of distrust of cameras in what is essentially a microcosm of the immigrant world. That hasn’t deterred me so far, despite the angry looks (I’ve been confronted several times by people asking why the hell I’m taking pictures), though I’ve settled on a cheap film camera that won’t be a big loss if smashed. I also like the graininess of the images, all of which will be high-contrast black-and-white.