Saturday, June 8, 2013

Carville, LA - The Separating Sickness, by Rebecca Solnit

Harper's Magazine sent me down to Carville, LA to photograph for a The Separating Sickness - How Leprosy Teaches Empathy, a story by Rebecca Solnit, whose work I have long admired.

The whole shoot had to be done in short notice, so I sent my whole darkroom down to Louisiana by FedEx, piece by piece and bottle by bottle, and re-built it in a rental SUV. I was sad to leave my truck (Harriet) behind, as my truck has become such a key element to what I do - it's where I sleep, where I eat, where I rest, and it makes a really comfortable stand-up darkroom. It's kind of like a giant camera bag with a darkroom, bedroom, and kitchen inside of it that I can drive around. I just love that truck. And it does great on gas mileage.

Here's a picture of what my living room floor looked like during the prep time:

Anyways, once I got to Louisiana, I picked up my brand-new ENORMOUS rental-car 36-passenger Chevrolet SUV with bright white interior. And suddenly, I realized that I would have to try my best not to get my new houseboat on wheels too stained up with photochemistry. Which, being clean and tidy is not particularly something that I am good at.

The grounds were immaculate and beautiful and incredibly saddening. The trees were enormous, and old, and some were missing limbs as though they had amputations. The landscape showed empathy. I shot over 30 glass negatives. Out of the 30 glass negatives, 5 images were published in Harper's magazine, and a sixth was published on their blog.

See it in the June issue of Harper's Magazine. Actually, you should probably just subscribe to Harper's magazine, 'cause it's super cheap to subscribe, and its a really incredible magazine that I love-love-love.

signing off,


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