In the film Smoke, Harvey Keitel plays the role of Auggie Wren, the owner of a Brooklyn corner smoke shop. Each morning, Auggie stands kitty-corner from his shop and sets up a camera on a tripod. Then at exactly 8:00 am he makes one exposure of his store while disregarding all activity in front of his lens. He then returns to open his shop and begin his daily engagement with his customers.
One day, Auggie asks a regular customer, Paul–played by William Hurt–to come to his apartment to view his collection of daily photographs. Auggie is passionate about the photos and considers it his life’s work. As Paul begins to quickly turn the pages of the photo album, he comments that all the images are the same because they’re of the same scene. But Auggie convinces him to slow down and take a closer look. Soon Paul discovers that the images have more differences than similarities and one in particular touches his heart.
So it is with this Auggie Wren collection. Each image is monochromatic and pared down to a few shared elements: abandoned marine pilings, smooth water, overcast skies, soft light, an ambiguous horizon and an overall tranquil mood; a sense of quietness and solitude.
The difference between me and Auggie is that while he is making his images in the same location with varying elements, I am using the same elements in various locations. My intent is to encourage the viewer to examine the differences and the subtle mood shifts elicited by these minimal variables.