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July 21st, 2007


in 1996 when i lived in san francicso, i got all excited to see lee friedlander in person. i bought my books early so i could skip the huge lines i envisioned. i got there right on time later that night, no one was there. i never thought i’d be able to actually talk to the guy, but there he was, sitting at a folding card table by himself waiting to sign books. grabbed the books they were holding for me and marched over. lee signed one book for my friend wishing him a good marriage and one for me. he saw my leica and made a comment, i handed it over, he played with the lens and all the settings, said something about how they feel, and handed it back to me. (i had brought it to take a snap of myself with him, i even preset the focus, shutter, flash, everything was ready to, but after he handed it back, i neglected to set it all back to the proper settings). just before i walked away after giving him a box of prints even, i got the courage to just do the dumb deed and took a quick snap of myself next to him. upon seeing this, lee said, ‘you got all winogrand with your horizon on that one.’ so i said, ok, i’ll do one straight all freidlander. this is it.

yes, its out of focus. yes, the shutter was too fast for the flash. perfect.

when i get excited, i assume everyone thinks like me. i was hyped to see a movie tonight, got there mad early, all my usual neuroses in full swing, the theater may as well have been empty. but it reminded me of the day i first met lee.