Immaculate and Deadpan – Athens, Ohio 1982


I hope these arrive safely. I would rather ship prints flat, but with tubes, they are safer and cheaper to ship. this is why I confirmed your snail mail address. I don’t know if you remember this shoot I did at OU in the fall of 1982, but it was a small project I did with one of dead head instructors there. Any way I seem to recall I was responding to the criticism that all my work was pretty, that I couldn’t do anything edgy or confrontational. Academic gobbley goop.

So I did this. I lined folks up against the wall and using a single light source, I asked them to stand there. I then overexposed the film, over developed it and printed it in high contrast. Everything to go after that hard edged look. None of the faculty liked the work, Arnold said I striped the life out of the subjects. He was right, but there were moments I liked about the work. I did about 18 shoots, and I found myself looking at people’s gestures and they way they stood. And what looked natural and what was unique to that individual. So I did learn something, something I even used yesterday when I was doing a bunch of head shots out at Google land.

Anyway for whatever reason I dug out the silver prints and thought they were a bit harsh in their rendering. So I decided to scan the negs and reinterpret the images. And go for a kinder, gentler rendition. So here is the before and after. Thought you might like an image of your younger, bad boy self. Kind of fun. I scanned the whole series. Way more interesting to me now then they were back then. But the passage of time does that I think….