March 7th, 2018

xxix

March 6--Revisiting the hands project

Back when I was a photographer for the college newspaper, I started a photography project where I took pictures of the hands of people I was photographing. It generally had nothing to do with the story I was photographing--just something for myself. I remember a photojournalist telling me that when he went out on a story, 70% of what he shot was for the story, and 30% was for him. I liked that.

My first hands were those of a shy catcher for the college softball team. The story was to photograph the pitcher and catcher who were the best on the team or something. As I sat across from her waiting to photograph them, I watched her hands, which were in constant motion, as she looked down at the floor. I took a shot.

catcher hands

I liked what I got, and started looking for hands to photograph. I probably have close to 30 photographs now, though I haven't added to it in a while.

When we were in Point Reyes, and Malida was photographing the guy who owned the gallery, I took a shot of his hands as he used a piece of sandpaper on some abalone shell he had embedded in a burl. His hands look well-used, and reflect his profession.

artisan hands

The hands of an artisan.

I'm thinking about printing up some of my hands and framing them. I will put them up in the hallway at home. It's been one of my favorite and most satisfying projects.