I don't know about you, but months of a staying-at-home-and-doing-nothing lockdown has affected me and my output. Call it lethargy, call it depression, call it mental malaise, but it's been difficult to maintain interest in making and completing daily photos, as was my wont. During this period I have tried to continue to document the streets where I live, but that project, too, has faltered.
Which brings me to Lee Friedlander.
Last week, while re-cataloguing my (book) library I leafed through a couple of collections of the photographs of Lee Friedlander. The books veritably sparkled in my fingertips and I felt the same excitement I experienced a dozen years ago when I first saw Friedlander's work at Jeu de Paume after a photographer friend and I had taken the Metro across town.
Up until that point I had always tried to make "pretty pictures". Friedlander's work shook my pretty photo pretensions, rocked my pursuit of pictorial perfection (Yeah, I know – I'm doing it on purpose. I'll stop now.) In short, photography felt different when I exited the Jeu de Paume. Here is the very next photo I made, seconds later:
My work today continues to be mostly about creating nice pictures that normal people (which is to say, NOT photographers) enjoy looking at – of restaurants, food, monuments, lovely landscapes and so on. But there's a part in me, less refined, less pretty, that needs itching, too. So, here's what I saw recently. Except for the Paris photo above, all of these were all made with an iPhone 12 Pro, the pocket photo lab.