For years I’d always wanted to shoot pictures but never got to the point of buying a camera and starting to do so. That changed a few years ago when I discovered photographs on Instagram that looked exactly like the ideal that I had always wanted to capture – the photos were shot by documentary photographer Tag Christof. His transported mood, the colours and the compositions triggered something in me: the urge to create something.
So, for me it’s a bit like a dream come true to showcase some selected photographs by Tag. This picture series makes you dream of an imaginary past.
There was a time when I used photography for pure time travel: I’d find a shabby street, a derelict building, or just a threadbare corner of a room and manipulate the light, the angle, the composition just enough to make believe I was in 1973.
Like so many others of my generation, I’ve always longed to live in the America of Shore and Eggleston, that land before time with its primary colours and tube TVs and jumbo cars roaring by on 8 cylinders.
It was a time so utterly photogenic that even the ugliest, most banal of scenes and objects, when photographed skillfully, could achieve the status of high art.
Still, we know better than to romanticize an imaginary past, right?
Perhaps. For all of its purported objectivity, the camera makes an imperfect forensic tool but also a wonderful narrative one. And so for as long as I’ve pursued the medium seriously, I’ve looked for clues about our present, our future, in fleeting glimpses of the past that can still be seen if you look hard enough or drive far enough.
Sometimes just slowing down works, really looking around you, listening to a good song on repeat, imagining what the world looked like 50 years ago, under all those layers of hope and paint.