I’m certain I’ve sent this photograph for my newsletter before, but it got a lot of love this past weekend, and I want to revisit it.

Recently I took a manager job at my restaurant. For months I had told myself that if they offered it to me, I wouldn’t take it, for a lot of reasons. But I started to think about what it meant, and ultimately decided I’d be great and that it wasn’t an opportunity I wanted to pass up. This means I have a salary, which is great, but it does also mean I have less free time to spend “doing what I came to New York to do.” That was the biggest drawback. Every time I put out a fire for my work, a new one sparks up, and it hasn’t given me time to catch my breath just yet. I have a new tattoo I want to pick at, I kind of want to run for the hills about everything. But those itches will scratch themselves in time.

If I set time aside to write I will get the writing done, like now. If I set aside the time and money to do the things I want to do (which I can, now, thankfully), they will get done. In the next year I want to do another book. In the next year I want to travel to Europe, alone, and see things I’ve wanted to see basically my whole life. In the next year I want to be able to sit and look out my window like I am now, watch the leaves rustle away in the wind, sit around with my friends and do nothing, listen to new music. While I have my hindrances about this next part of my life I also know how determined I am to make it work out, how I have the capacity to create a solid work environment and self-sustaining store as well as keeping my head over water and enjoying myself. 

And going home to make photographs like this. This was taken right after I visited Lowell’s house the last time, January 2017. I made a few pictures there that ended up in Big Empty (which did not make it to the exhibition), in and amongst the presence of his ashes, and then found myself driving to the Thunderdome in the freezing night. I spent my senior spring shooting the baseball team there, including Lowell. Friday will be three years since he died, unceremoniously, swift, as though none of us had a say in the matter. At times I still feel cheated out of time with him in my life, but I look at this picture, I look at the picture I took of the stars that night, how I spent that long exposing the light, how the camera shifted to cause the stars to fall. And in remembering that, my perspective changes on the whole thing, and I breathe a little easier. 

I took this after the picture of the stars, because the sign at the softball field was easier to juxtapose with the empty parking lot, the cars passing on University Boulevard behind it. I remember watching the cars go by and being excited they’d be in the shot– it’s the first time I captured light quite like that on film. It keeps the fence in the frame, it organizes the visual elements, it’s a highlight key, it drags you through the shroud of darkness around the corners. It’s my favorite part of the picture. 

The great thing is I already know which baseball field I’m going to photograph next.


I think I may have an issue with not holding my camera, not having some kind of physical interaction with it. My long exposures have lately been on tripods or on other level still surfaces. It’s sort of important to me to have that touch, to be able to hold it in my hands. The RB hung around my neck in this picture, and I was holding this metal camera that had stayed cold in the car AC, and the lens collected condensation after being shocked into the thick July humidity (you can tell in the bottom left). Cradling it. Making the picture, making something that feels like an organic thing. Having my finger on that shutter and making a conscious decision to press it, knowing I’ve committed something to film. An irrevocable thing that doesn’t resonate in the same way when my camera’s not on my person.


My dad is doing one of three things here:

-Watching a car zip up Worth Ave too quickly and estimating whether or not he can whistle at them from the front porch, a sound that assails my childhood memories.

-Looking at the bradford pear tree that’s just barely out of view to the left of the frame, comparing the leaves that fall a little slower than the yellowing Norway maple he’s positioned in front of.

-Standing still because I asked him to. I took a lot of photos of him around this time. This was after Thanksgiving in 2016. The frame of the screen right behind his head is slightly bent, because a few weeks prior he’d fallen and knocked into it. That’s what caused this scar. He hasn’t had a seizure or serious fall in months, but when I took this photo, they weren’t uncommon for him.

Some days I swallow the inevitability of things ending and blink past it like it’s nothing. Some days everything feels so precious, like the stillness in this photo, and makes me want to hold onto everything I have in the palm of my hands, steadying before the wind.

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