I suspect I will always have a preference for the silver image. But I continue to be drawn by the effects of oxidation, as in the way everyday objects and places in these images become mysterious and compelling.
Most metals are susceptible to oxidation. While its effects are often undesirable, for uncoated Polaroids the results can be uniquely beautiful. One aspect of digital technology for which I am grateful is the manner in which it allows me to enlarge the Polaroid.
These after-hours Polaroids from the streets of Boston reflect the quality of light from streetlamps. The long exposures necessary in night photography make possible in-camera manipulation that is not unlike dodging and burning in the darkroom.
Oxidized Polaroids amplify the abstract qualities inherent in the nude. During the oxidation process, the Polaroid gives up highlight detail and experiences a reversal of tones in the shadows—an effect similar to the Mackie lines of solarization.
I never set out to create a portfolio. The appeal of the subject brings me back until the portfolio has built itself. Here#146;s a collection of MBTA photos taken over a 15-year period. Boston’s subway is America's oldest. Most of these settings no longer exist.
As a photographer, I appreciate living in a community like East Boston. Unlike in the car-oriented suburbs, the citizens of blue-collar neighborhoods frequently do their socializing on the streets.
I began taking the subway to Revere Beach soon after moving to Boston in 1980. Ever since my childhood visits to Ocean City, Maryland, the urban beach scene has fascinated me. Revere Beach became America’s first public beach in 1886. It its heyday, its amusement parks were without equal.
Young photographers sometimes assume that it’s necessary to travel in order to create fresh imagery. A curator once remarked to me that she values photographers whose work reflects their intimacy with the neighborhoods in which they’ve lived.

Artwork available for purchase on 9.5"-square, archivally processed, fiber-based prints.

 

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