Tourists take in the view at a small hotel on the southern shore of the Dead Sea. The landscape was surreal enough, but the hotel had been taken over by German visitors, and each night's musical festivities were conducted in German. It gave me the feeling, in that curious place, that something was right in the world.
A municipal swimming pool in the town of North Berwick, Scotland, east of Edinburgh. The silhouetted ruins of medieval Tantallon Castle are in the distance. Once fed by the waters of the Firth of Forth, the pool appears to have been abandoned when I look for it in Google Earth satellite views.
A house on Isle Madame, part of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton, with clothes hung out to dry on a very cold day. I took the photograph from a low angle to place the blowing laundry against the darkened sky, and set a high shutter speed to stop its motion. For some reason this particular image has been picked up several times (through Getty's Photonica collection) for covers of novels.
A volleyball net on the New Jersey shore, in the dead of winter. You wouldn't know it, but it was so cold I could barely keep my hands steady for the shot. The wind was pushing at the net, hence its curve, so a high shutter speed was needed. The ocean in the background forms a black wedge that points in the other direction from the net's receding perspective.
Photographed somewhere in the Southwest, probably Arizona, this object was an armature for a mushroom that was meant to be part of a fantasy miniature golf course. The golf course had apparently been abandoned in mid-construction. It's tempting to see too much in photographs, but I like the "mushroom" clouds in the distance.
Photographed near Memphis, Tennessee, this object was being used to form hay into large rolls. I excluded the nearby bales so that its purpose would be unclear, which I think makes it more interesting as a sculptural object. I like the way the top of the baler gets lost in the detail of the distant trees, which tends to "flatten the picture plane," as the modernist saying goes.
These concrete pilings were intended to support a hotel that apparently was never built, along the Gulf Coast of Florida's northwest panhandle. As with the hay baler image, I photographed them with 4x5 infrared sheet film in a view camera, rather than with my usual 35mm SLR, for the extra detail the larger negative would provide.
A billboard waits for a message in the Southern California desert. The sign glows because of the characteristics of now-defunct Kodak infrared film, an effect that's impossible to duplicate with digital capture. The image was shot with a long lens, rather than my usual wide-angle, to help pull the distant hills forward and "flatten" the sign against them.
I can't remember where in Scotland I took this photograph, and I don't keep notes on such things because my pictures really aren't about particular places. What I remember is lying on the ground to hide things in the background and to place the drying laundry up against the sky. Because the laundry was whipping around so unpredictably I shot a whole roll of frames, ultimately choosing this one because the square of sky in the middle, defined by the clothesline and the edges of clothing, looks as if it could fly off the picture plane.
Joshua Tree National Park is filled with cactus-like Joshua Trees and, also, with formations of rounded rocks that look like something from an original Star Trek set. Scattered as if by a sparring Captain Kirk, they're a strange sight rising from the floor of Southern California's Mojave Desert. This split specimen was one of my favorites.
This is the back side of a bunker used for storage of farm equipment, as I recall, which I found along the east coast of Scotland. The black band to either side of the structure is the North Sea. Because the bunker's top was earthen and covered with grass, I knew that infrared film would make it nearly white, the way it did with the surrounding grass. I lined up the top of the wall with the sea's horizon.
This children's slide was part of a playground along the shore of New York's Long Island. I shot from close beneath it, looking out toward the water, with a wide-angle lens that helped attenuate its already long shape. The image looks tonally different than most of the others in this series, even though it was also made with infrared film, because it was taken on a cloudy day.