09 Revisited | a shoot within a shoot

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.