HOWARD (2021)

HOWARD is a new series that I started working on in September 2021. Howard is a street that runs north and south from one end of Baltimore to the other and includes everything from fast-food restaurants to used car lots to lovely rowhouses and upscale dining venues.

To me, much of the terrain of Howard Street feels "hot," like Stephen Shore's images of urban and suburban America. In the HOWARD series, I am interested in producing a Shore-like "new topography" study of this representative street using strictly black-and-white 35-milimeter film. I'm using an Asahi Pentax Spotmatic F with either a 50mm or 35mm lens and sometimes a 28mm lens. I'm using Tri-X or Ilford HP5 rated at 200ASA. I develop (with pulled times) the film in D-76 (1:1).

I like to document the changing American urban landscape. I would like people looking at these photos to seem them collectively, as a group or series. The series format suits my desire that no one image be taken as more true or significant than another, encouraging the viewer to consider not just the pictures but everything outside of the frame as well, emphasizing the monotony of the empty man-made environment, and sometimes pointing out its idiosyncrasies and surprises, as in the flag mural adorning the alley wall.

In the HOWARD series, as in some of my other series, a couple of impulses are going on. In some cases, I want the pictures to resist any single point of focus, framed as they are to present the scene as a whole without bringing attention to any particular element within. In other cases, I'm more interested in the pull-and-push going on in the picture, the tension between the foreground and what's behind it.