I’m always shooting something, multiple projects in the hopper, ongoing, never ending, welcome to my life. Over the last 10 years or so I’ve been shooting a series on PB’s & their owners, never really unleashed any of the images until now…here are a few of them.
When I started making these images we owned a great old building on 122nd St. in Harlem, Pits were prevalent. Seemed like the younger the owner, the meaner the dog…..a status thing. Ever since then I’ve been shooting them wherever, whenever I can.…and it’s a great way of meeting peopes that I would typically never meet….ya it’s safe to say that I loathe the comfort zone.
While living uptown it wasn’t shocking to see an abandoned Pit leashed to a random fence, let loose in a derelict property or just simply released to the streets. Actually it was deflating, since I couldn’t walk away from a dog in nee and at the end of the day guess what? finders keepers, it sucked, & finding them homes was not easy. Responsibility & dog owners don’t always go hand in hand.
We got ours from a neighbor who stopped feeding & providing shelter for their dog, actually they really sold it to us, they could have asked for anything, we just had to get that guy out of there. To keep him alive during the negotiations, we cooked hamburgers and threw them like saucers over the fence when his owners weren’t looking. His name was Tony, we changed it to Shanti, he was a PB / Shepard mix and we spent a lot of time with him in Woodstock and as with most rescues, given the opportunity, he turned out to be one of the greatest dogs ever.
I started out making these images with a Littman 4 X 5 rangefinder (w/ a handheld meter) which is huge for a rangefinder, the largest. It was an old Polaroid camera converted and it was cumbersome for a project such as this especially when you had to shoot fast & ask questions later and under fed, abused dogs don’t always follow directions so well. Ultimately, I started to make these images on whatever the latest greatest Canon digital SLR was/is of the time, still do…..
I hope that you enjoy this series. Next series, “the Condom Machine”.
9/24/2012 10:01 am gliding over the Rockies.