At the crack of dawn every Saturday of my childhood I accompanied my mother driving my father to work because the buses did not run early enough. The eerily silent streets of downtown Baltimore devoid of people was a thing of wonder. It had a presence, a sense of being, and one could take in that presence, from the grand scale of its landmark buildings to the minute details of a street sign or lamppost without the distraction of daily life.
Living in the shadow of Yale University, I began to explore with that same sense of wonder using the Holga, a $20 medium-format plastic camera that is as flawed as it is simple. The images of Yale University are graphic interpretations of the architecture and the objects contained within the confines of those landmark buildings.
Technically, the Holga is well suited to the subject matter yielding a photo that is sharp in the center while going progressively out of focus and vignetting as it approaches the edges. The results are timeless yet antiquated much like the environment of Yale University.
The project began during the Yale University tercentennial in 2001 originally as an assignment to photograph athletic facilities. It was a dramatic departure from daily photojournalism and it soon became a personal project expanding after a few years beyond athletic facilities to incorporate the entire university.
Yale University is a unique place nationally and internationally in terms of the diversity and quality of its architecture. It is a place where gothic and modern architecture coexist side by side incorporating the works of some of the most famous names in modern architecture within the architectural framework that preceded them.
And that beauty goes deeper than grand building facades. It lies in the minute details of those landmark buildings and of the contents within - from the pipes of one of the largest working pipe organs in the world to a copy of the Gutenberg Bible.
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