Pinhole Camera Photograhy
During the summer of 2015, I decided I wanted to be 14 years old again; that magic age where I explored the suburban woods, played baseball with my friends and made things with my hands. It was a time filled tree houses, go-carts, sulfur burning science experiments, and B&W prints created in my basement darkroom.
I began my journey back to my youth by making a pinhole camera. Next, I decided to photograph the places in my current neighborhood where a 14-year-old might have spent his summer in the early 70’s; the outdoor basketball courts, the baseball field, the railway tracks. I had expected the pinhole images to be upbeat and filled with the joy of boyhood, but surprisingly they were filled with a sense of loss and abandonment. An image of an empty basketball court was anxiety provoking and disturbing. Was this anxiety always going to surface when I embarked on a new project that was based on my memories? What were the alternatives? Stop this photographic self-exploration? Photograph sunsets and seagulls?
As I thought about this I realized a sense of isolation and separateness had long been a part of my life. It had become less over the years as the result of personal introspection and various therapeutic processes, but here it was again in full force as I photographed images related to my early adolescence. Was there ever a time I didn’t feel this way? Well…yes. Before. Before my father’s problems began. Before my world changed. Before age 6.