Visual Acuity, And Other Talents, Ever Deployed To Good Ends

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Petrified wood. Las Cruces, New Mexico. PHOTOGRAPH BY SHANE LAVALETTE

Contributors to our blog come and go. We wonder from time to time how the talents we saw in India, or Costa Rica, or elsewhere are being deployed today and will be deployed tomorrow. That is how it is with interns, and volunteers, as much as with other types of team members. Above, this, and a few of the other photographs in this post remind us of Milo’s first year with a camera, and his sense of spontaneity combined with visual acuity; someone who is a natural with that tool, the camera, and is ever on the lookout to tell a story with a snapshot:

Last week, the photographer Shane Lavalette set out on a road trip from Austin, Texas, to Joshua Tree, California. Each day, he posted austere, poetic photographs of the region’s landscapes and people to the New Yorker photo department’s Instagram feed, using the photo-editing app VSCO Cam.

Getting lost in White Sands, New Mexico. PHOTOGRAPH BY SHANE LAVALETTE

Getting lost in White Sands, New Mexico. PHOTOGRAPH BY SHANE LAVALETTE

Lavalette told me that he sought out scenes that evoked Southwestern history or mythology: a napkin holder, spotted in a doughnut shop in Roswell, New Mexico, called to mind the town’s 1947 U.F.O. sighting; a slanted shadow seen through a rounded window resembled a traditional sundial. Instead of publishing his images at full scale, Lavalette posted tight shots against a white background, often focussing on an isolated object or detail. His goal, he told me, was to “activate the space in between the pictures” and “leave room” for viewers to make their own associations.

Lavalette will host a Twitter chat about his trip on Friday, February 20th. Follow @tnyphotobooth, @shanelavalette, and @vsco to join the conversation.

See all the photos at the original post here.

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