Whenever I do a workshop I’m often asked, “What’s Your Favorite Photograph?” In fact, Skip Cohen recently asked me that same questions as part of the Why series on his Skip Cohen University blog.
The glib answer to the question is “the one I’m going to make tomorrow” and for Skip I talked not about my favorite photograph but one that was the most challenging to shoot. You can see that photo on my car photography blog blog and hear me describe the details behind the shoot on Skip’s blog. I’ll post a link here when it runs.
For me the above image was made in the mid-1970’s at a time when I began to get serious about my photography and it might just be nostalgia for a time that I still think is my most creative period of my life that makes this photograph stick with me after all these years.
This image was made while I was doing volunteer work for the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, attending the Maryland Institute College of Art at night, shooting wedding on the weekend and working full-time at a Great Metropolitan Phone Company. The camera was a medium format Mamiya C-33 twin lens reflex camera and 80mm f/2.8 Mamiya-Sekor lens and shot with Kodak Tri-X film that I processed and printed in my kitchen. Exposure was unrecorded and I only made one frame, which I guess is part of the whole medium format thing.
Part of the reason I like this photograph is the way the conductor is looking off the side. And that there is just part of a hand showing from outside and it’s blurred from the person’s movement. The entire photograph has a feel, to me echoing a 1960 Twilight Zone episode called “A Stop at Willoughby.” I leave it to psychologists (I know some follow me on Twitter) to figure out why that is.
There’s always more to any story including what was my frame of mind during what I considered the “most creative period of my life” and a price was paid for that creativity. This information is found in my upcoming self-published book ‘A Life in Photography.’ Publication has been delayed because two copy editors had to bow out for various reasons; if you know anyone who would like to help, please click the Contact page and leave me a note. Thanks