This update to the new Squarespace platform has forced me to do some tidying up, continuing my recent trend of cleaning house. So I’ve been looking through the blog’s history. I had never realized this but the very first thing I ever posted was a piece called Through my Plasma Screen, following Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009. The images were missing from the post — orphaned since I had moved away from Wordpress a year and a half ago — so I decided to load the series in Lightroom and reprocess them instead of simply uploading the original versions.
Like most of the world at the time, I had followed those elections closely and was completely taken in by the ideals and the promise embodied by Obama at the time. I came very close to jumping in the car and driving down to Washington for the inauguration but sanity prevailed and I stayed home.
On the morning of January 20th however, as I sat down to watch that historic broadcast, I had an idea: I would shoot the television screen. I would use a telephoto lens and shoot those television images as if I was looking through a window, framing my own pictures within the display. I gave myself some strict guidelines disallowing any sort of manipulation of the feed, no PVR, no rewinding for a missed shot. This would be treated as a live view of the event.
So I sat there on my couch for 3 hours, dangling a 70–300mm zoom, barely raising my eyes from the camera, living the action from a viewfinder.
I like that shoot. The images are pixelated and grainy and messed up but they remind me of that day’s intense sense of exhilaration. And when I look at them they very much feel like my own pictures, like my own chosen moments, framed and captured as I would any other event.
They’re now back on their respective page, out of oblivion and completely re-tooled: Through my Plasma Screen.
Not a political statement btw. Just a brief moment in history.