"I was a shy kid. More often than not I walked around enveloped in my own universe, surrounded by adults who seemed gravely serious. The world beneath me seemed much more interesting than those towering towers of adult babel. So I stared at the ground a lot.
My father was always telling me to look up and not walk with my head down. Given that the Miss America runway was not on my agenda, I never listened. I just shuffled around the old neighborhood staring at my feet. Later this habit proved to be useful. The world down there is pretty interesting.
There are several perspectives of photography that I'd like to explore here. One is to photograph the world from a normal point-of-view. We make images from where we are, thus making commentary on the perceived state of normalcy. Since we are so accustomed to the world from eye-level view, this can lull us into a sense of comfort. This is the way we always view the world.
Most of the time as the above-described sullen kid, I was inspecting things from where my head (and eyes) were comfortable. I was looking DOWN at the earth's plane. This amusing and quite fun, but it only gives us one perspective on an infinite universe.
My first photography professor, a very talented man by the name of Roger Beecroft, told me often that he would be more interested in my work if I'd change my perspective from normal to a more original, perhaps more revealing point-of-view. At the time, this seemed revolutionary. So, I started crawling on hands and knees and climbing up things so I could look down from new heights. This has a more jarring effect upon the viewer, who does not expect to see the world from these perspectives. Drama.
Alfred Hitchock’s classic, Rear Window, uses this technique to the extreme. The entire film is shot from the perspective of a man bound to room because of a broken leg. At the end, the perspective changes, for a moment, to outside the room. It is disturbing and jarring.
Crawling on the ground is a good way to rid oneself of the dailiness of life. It's a good way to make photos. And it would make my father happy as it is very hard to look DOWN at one's feet when in that position.