I feel out of control by the sea. It microscopes us all into small, insignificant figures. Oddly, though, after a day in the company of its incessant motion and constant beauty, control is rarely at the forefront of my mind. The iron grasp of ego and intellect starts to loosen in favour of a softer involvement with the world; one where I am happy to just see, simply to be there, to remain open to what might arise, be it spectacular or mundane.
My lensless boxes give me photographs in this same freeing way: removing preconceptions, wild in their dazzling perspective, undogmatic in their easy melding of sharp realities and smooth overlays. Any attempt to over-control them hides the wonder of their discovery and the scope they have to throw up strange and unimagined images. In practice these primitive cameras need very little input from the photographer. I carry them to the beach, stand them up and feed them paper and film. The rest is mostly out of my hands.
During the long exposures necessary with a tiny aperture and the slow, insensitive negative materials I employ, I like simply to stand back from - sometimes walk into - the landscape's canvas and imagine what is before me but which I am unable to see without this hand-made box: this device which given time renders all views, both near and far, infinite.
Infinity's Edge Published July 11, 2009