“Areas of a photo where information is lost due to extreme darkness are described as ‘crushed blacks.’”
I focus on things falling apart: oxidation making rusted lace of the side of a scraped auto, a soft pentimenti of painted ads on brickwork. My depth of field is shallow; I know my limitations, know I can’t catch a panorama, it’s beyond me and these tools. And yet, I will get close enough, hold still long enough to see what others don’t. A world waits to be seen, up close. Even in the absence of light, there’s detail that reveals something about us. The deepest dark, the place where information’s lost, is named—as if for the Middle Passage—“crushed blacks,” but that misses the truth seen in portrait after portrait: “crushed blacks” are radiant within all those portrayed.