Saturday, May 29, 2010


I learned about the Unphotographable website through an interview Jamie Ridler did with the wonderful Susannah Conway last year. Soon after that, another blog I read had a post where they mentioned it, although I really can't figure out where that was.

The idea of the "photograph that got away," as Susannah described it, has been haunting me lately. There are two images I can't get out of my mind. So in the spirit of Unphotographable I thought I'd share them here:

This is a photograph I did not take of a homeless man who approached me when I was at the Central Parking machine paying for my parking spot the other day. I've noticed this gentleman before. We've exchanged greetings as I've walked down the sidewalk where he and his buddies hang out in front of a church. He stands out a little as he's missing most of both arms. I'm guessing he's a Vietnam veteran. This morning he gestures toward an abandoned State Department building that used to house TennCare. He asks if that part of the parking lot looks better. I say that it does look cleaned up. He says that he's spent the morning picking up the trash that's collected there. And that's when I look down at his bare feet and see that's he's carried pieces of broken glass to the garbage can next to me and is picking them up off the ground and dropping them into the bin with his bare toes.

This is a photograph I did not take of the backyards of the houses along the Harpeth River that were flooded weeks ago and are likely mostly still uninhabited, waiting for the construction teams to install new drywall, appliances, etc. There's a trampoline set up in one of the yards and a girl in her early teens is jumping higher and higher in the beautiful spring air.