I find this photograph rather eerie and maybe just a little bit depressing. We, as a species of innovation and construction, have gone to great lengths to develop construction materials and techniques, and a great amount of labor goes into these projects. Although a simple set of concrete stairs my not be the pinnacle of our capabilities, it has been and will continue to be, a fundamental element in everything from a rural home to the urban streets of our largest cities. With this thought dominating my mind, I captured this image, a concrete set of stairs buried in the heart of Seattle with no one using them. I had stumbled upon a central pedestrian walkway/park in the city, and yet, I watched this set of stairs go un-used for quite some time. I remember it made me a little sad, and also a little uneasy. Was there something wrong the stairs, something that made people avoid them, something I was unaware of as an outsider? Was it bad city planning? Or was it just coincidence that at the time of my presence, there was no one there to use them.
I use my camera to capture these moments, and hopfully not only capture the physical, but also express the thought and emotoins I am experiencing. I chose to shoot the stairs in black and white as a way of focusing the viewers eye. With the removal of color, there is only contrast by which to interpret the scene. I also deliberately chose to fill the left side of the frame with a tree. The city planers went to great lengths to incorperate nature in the walkway, and to remove this aspect of the environment would be to present a dishonest image (this is a common thread in all my work (hence the reason I don’t use photoshop)). I could go on, but in an attempt to keep my rambling to a minimum I will stop.
I always attempt to create meaningful images, and on a personal level this certainly qualifies. I will continue to view this image and be taken back to that moment, and after all, is that not what Photography is all about…
(This image will be part of a exhibition I have later this summer in Denver!)