Monuments of the City


My dad and my brothers would tell you it’s only natural that I take photographs of old buildings.

When I was a little boy – too young for tools and not good with a paint brush – I would stand in front of old buildings in my hometown trying to discern the important details of bricks, glass, copper door plates and rotting sills. My dad and older brothers were inside (my mother was there, too, as a design consultant). They remodeled and renovated old buildings.

I often found myself staring at these old buildings to make sense of what was plainly standing before me.

I needed glasses. But as a very shy kid (they call us introverts) I didn’t really know that my low-vision experience wasn’t normal. And my family, I guess, just thought that I liked to stare at things. We introverts pull in detail, memorize it, and begin to appreciate it for the story it presents.

Somewhere along the line I gathered a solid foundation in heating/cooling and ventilation analysis. As I stand in front of an old building, I begin to assemble the story of what is happening behind closed doors.

The meditative nature of medium-format photography with chunky mechanical cameras is just right for staring, and appreciating details that others pass by. I have glasses now, but a camera helps me see.

Steve Polston

e washington bank  white rabbithole west indianapolis POmeridian 21 2  south shelby south shelby 3