The Details

When working on a documentary project we can sometimes get lost in single-mindedness. I found this to be the case for The Jersey Shore Project. I was making many trips to the commercial fishing docks and photographing the people and the boats, but on a grand scale. I was neglecting the details and had to start thinking about things that would enhance or complement the eventual layout of the book.

The instructor in the workshop I was taking at the time, Aline Smithson, , talked about creating a “piggy bank” in which to put the detail and seemingly non-consequential photos that you would find useful. The “piggy bank” is also a good place to store snippets of ideas that could eventually become projects on their own or even be good to use in typologies to place as part of an exhibition or within the book. So, what makes up the peripheral items of the commercial fishing industry? Wandering around and focusing in on the details I discovered little artifacts that complete the overall picture of commercial fishing. The photos here represent fishing net, a crewman’s gloves and apron and the rope that ties the boat to the dock.

When taking pictures that reflect the details of your main subject you need to be aware of structure, form and color and of course light. You can perhaps think of some of these photos as still lifes and sometimes they create an abstract picture that, on its own, is a work of art. The fishing net photo here could be such a photo.