This one goes back to Fall of last year, I forgot I had it (the roll of film predates this post).  Strangely enough I had a dream last night having to do with industrial waste, parking lots, and photography.  And Kodak.

An assignment for my Intro to Archaeology class, my friend and I studied a small parking lot to determine what information we could glean from what people leave behind them (in the form of trash, mostly), just as archaeologists can only learn about ancient peoples by what is left of them after being buried for millennia.  And I took pictures.

It was a good chance for me to try out a new lens (the Mamiya/Sekor 55mm 1.8), as I had just purchased a Mamiya 1000TL the week before at a thrift store.  I’ll try out the camera itself at a later time, but the lens is wonderfully sharp and I had no problem using it on my Spotmatic body.  I tried for a bit of a minimalist aesthetic, and still life subjects aren’t something with which I have a whole lot of experience.  The Mamiya/Sekor lens could focus quite close to my subjects, which was definitely useful for me.

Among the litter we surveyed, there were 7 straws, 2 cups, 4 pop cans, and 13 scraps of paper, but the most plentiful find was a total of 251 cigarette butts, which leads me to the conclusion that smokers are just assholes.



4 thoughts on “Trash

  1. Given you say you are not adept at still life, these images are very interesting in composition, textures and tone. If you are good at other forms (which you are) it doesn’t surprise me that you got the hang of this so smartly. Great idea for a project, too. I like the thought of photography being used as a tool for exploring the archaeology of present day. The passing of time will make these real gems for future explorers of the ephemera that tells so much about our society, and not just about what wasteful grubs we are.

    • Thank you! I found archaeology (and in particular this type of garbology as put forward by William Rathje) to be more interesting than I imagined. I do like the idea of continuing on the series at some point down the road, and it’s good to know it’s being well-received.

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