Navel gazing can get a little old, so, in the coming weeks (months?), as we find ourselves counting the hours till lunchtime on the sofa, we look for...
Edited by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern and published by Aperture, The Photographer's Playbook contains advice, exercises and insight from John Baldessari, Tim Barber, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Jim Goldberg, Miranda July, Susan Meiselas, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth, Mark Steinmetz, Roger Ballen, David Campany, Asger Carlson, Ari Marcopoulos, Todd Hido, and many more. —Text compiled by Alex Nicholson
The photographer Mark Steinmetz finds moments of intimacy and solitude at the perpetually bustling Hartsfield-Jackson.
Mark Steinmetz, a photographer based in Athens, Georgia, and best known for his black-and-white portraits of strangers—accumulated through prolific wandering and watchfulness—has, in recent years, turned his attention to Hartsfield’s labyrinthine spaces. As he explained in an episode of the “Magic Hour” podcast, he photographed the airport from all sides: “outskirts, the people on the sidewalk, the drop-off, the pick-up locations, in the terminals—because I fly so much—and pictures of the planes taking flight, pictures in planes, pictures of planes.”
My work springs more from feelings and intuition than ideas. I try to stay open and rely on my instincts. I put my antennae up and just see what is reeled in. There’s the saying most everyone is familiar with – “go with the flow.” I try not to get ahead of the flow but to follow it closely and see where it leads me. Usually I have some loose ideas but those I tend to revise in face of the photos that I’m actually making. I try not to over-determine the outcome at the onset. I try to be honest with myself about what is truly exciting and working for me.
Bourbon St, New Orleans, 1995 @ Mark Steinmetz
"I don’t begin a project with an agenda that is going to over-determine the outcome. I think it begins with a faint vision - one of those whispers on a breeze - that somehow gets a grip on me."
I don’t begin a project with an agenda that is going to over-determine the outcome. I think it begins with a faint vision - one of those whispers on a breeze - that somehow gets a grip on me. I try to fan that flame and see what comes of it, but photography of the sort I do depends on what the world out there wants to cough up, so in some ways I am powerless and just hope the universe is on my side.
Having spent a lot of time with Mark Steinmetz's books South East and Greater Atlanta, I was curious about the history and photographer behind the work. So I asked Mark for an interview, and much to my delight he agreed to it.