What’s Your Favorite Photograph? Here’s Mine…

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

When teaching workshops I’m sometimes asked, “What’s Your Favorite Photograph?” In fact, Skip Cohen recently asked me that same question as part of the Why series that appears on the Skip Cohen University blog.

The glib answer to the question is “the one I’m going to make tomorrow” but for Skip I talked not about my favorite photograph but one that was the most challenging to shoot. You can see that photo on my car photography blog and hear me describe the details behind the shoot on Skip’s blog.

For me the above image is my favorite photograph. It was made during the mid-1970’s at a time when I began to get serious about my photography. My affection for it might just be nostalgia for a time that I still think of as “the most creative period of my life”* that makes this particular photograph stick with me after all these years. Or maybe not.

One of the reasons I like this photograph is the way the conductor is looking off the side. And that there is just part of a hand showing from outside and it’s blurred from the person’s movement. The entire photograph has a feel, to me, that echoes a 1960 Twilight Zone episode called “A Stop at Willoughby.” I leave it to psychologists (I know some follow me on Twitter) to figure out why that particular episode appeals to me.

This image was shot while doing volunteer work for the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, attending the Maryland Institute College of Art at night, shooting weddings on the weekend and working full-time for a Great Metropolitan Phone Company. The camera used was a medium format Mamiya C-33 twin lens reflex camera with 80mm f/2.8 Mamiya-Sekor lens and shot using Tri-X film that I processed (and later printed) in my kitchen. Exposure was unrecorded and I only made one frame, which I guess is part of the whole medium format experience.

cover_RN_version*There’s always more to any story including what my frame of mind was during what I considered the “most creative period of my life” and the price that was paid for all that creativity. This information can be found in my upcoming self-published book ‘A Life in Photography.’ Publication of the book has been repeatedly delayed because two copy editors who promised to edit the book bowed out for various reasons. If you know anyone who would like to help, please click the Contact page and leave me a note. Thanks