I was out for a walk on an overcast day in Glouchester, Mass. in early April. Across the street I spotted Happy Dumplings. I was thinking about taking a shot as I like 'Vernacular Advertising' signs. They are disappearing across America as corporations are running most small businesses out of business. The scene was interesting but was lacking something... the curved lettering mimicked the shape of the dumplings but still it was not enough and as I started to walk away this car pulled up in front of the store and parked. The scene completed itself right there in front of me so I took this photograph. Sometimes cool stuff just happens.


On days where I wasn’t shooting for clients at my studio I liked to play around with Polaroid material. I used my 4x5 and 8x10 view cameras to transfer the images to water color paper, usually Arches. The surprising part of this was that during the transfer process I never knew exactly what I would get. It was a matter of negotiating that space where chance meets skill. Weirdly, sometimes chance was more cool than skill. It was fun but could get very expensive. The process was addicting and 20 shots later the box of Polaroid would be gone and I’d be out more than a hundred dollars. Those transfers had a very romantic look that can’t be replicated by any other means that I know of. I saved quite a few of them to dark storage. They haven’t faded, which does surprise me.


Digital photography has a way of making photographers strive for perfection. Polaroid transfers were just the opposite. I have been thinking about this phenomenon for a while now.