There's a quality to old photographs that's so sentimental and romantic - especially if they are not your own. I found an old sandwich tin full of photos ranging from 1940 to the 1980's at a car-boot sale last weekend. I think the fact you don't already link the pictures to familiar mundanaties of everyday life ("oh, that's just another one of Grandad's picnics") means you immediately get some sense of romance and mystery - the photo above is a great example. Where are they? Why are they there? When was the last time you actually wandered across the tarmac with your suitcase - it must have been taken some time ago. Were they rich? Even famous? Perhaps they're on their honeymoon. Perhaps they robbed a bank the day before.
William Lanson's photography feels huge, vast and epic. His self portraits are paticularly great - initially a side-project, they are both funny and sincere, alluding to a humour that bubbles away under the surface. They also give a sense of scale to the landscape, and the act of covering his face, for me, means you can read a multitude of narratives into every picture and adds a bit of a sinister edge.
In September of 2004, while I was driving around America working on a project called Encounter, I began photographing myself in the landscape as a means of activating the photographic process when no other subjects presented themselves... ...I went from being an observer.. to a photographic collaborator, physically engaging with the landscape as a form of creative play. ...Although this project began as an exercise, the playfulness, experimentation and sense of humor that emerged from it has come to represent the new way that I approach my work.
Photographs blatantly with no permission at all, copyright William Lamson;
FLIGHT No4 7/21/2004 ME IN AMERICA Polson, Montana Warner, Oklahoma Loxley, Alabama