“My walking is of two kinds: one, straight on end to a definite goal at a round pace; one, objectless, loitering and purely vagabond. In the latter state, no gipsy on earth is a greater vagabond than myself; it is so natural to me, and strong with me, that I think I must be the descendant, at no great distance, of some irreclaimable tramp.”
— The Uncommercial Traveler, Charles Dickens
“Vagabond” and “The Early Years” bookend almost five decades of walking and photographing. City streets and parks still offer the best surprises. Though a simple description of a curious thing in a soft light might still make the cut, now it’s almost always the messy pictures taken in harsh sunlight that look right.
I want the photographs to be carefully composed but full of stuff that’s out of my control; preoccupied with formal concerns but anchored to a real place and time; reminiscent of pictures by other photographers yet somehow my own invention; sunny and grim; dumb and smart—each picture trying to be, at the same time, a snapshot, a record, an editorial, a lesson, a eulogy, a joke and a poem.
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All photographs: Copyright © 1970-2020 Alvin Comiter