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Photo Feature

Shooting Baltimore

East Baltimore, 1997: A woman suns herself on Duncan Street.
Christopher Myers
Bond Street, 1994: The summer parade that marks the opening of city pools.
South Baltimore, 1996: The old man on Marshall Street. He would only come out occasionally to feed his cats.
This is James. He works in a parking garage on West Baltimore Street and lives just around the corner. He saw me out shooting one day and told me that he had never owned a picture of himself, so I took his picture and gave him a copy.
A youth group from a city Methodist church enjoys a 1996 outing at Delaware’s Salem Cove Beach. In the background is the Salem Nuclear Generating Station.
Hesse, five years later, with her son Brian Jr. She is still on Clarkson Street but hopes to move to Brooklyn when she can afford it. "Things have changed," Janet says. On her right is the building where drums of toxic chemicals were found earlier this year. On her left is a drug house on the same street where her children play.
I met Billy Pinn while he was working the door at the Flamingo Lounge show bar on the Block. When he found out I was a photographer, he got excited and told me he wanted to show me an interesting photo collection. We went to the Midway Bar down the street and looked at the pictures of showgirls lining the dance area
South Baltimore, 1995: Janet Hesse and neighborhood kids (from left) Crystal, Sabrina, Chetty, and twins Georgetta and George

By Christopher Myers | Posted 9/6/2000

I do this work for the same reason that I have a collection of dead bugs, a ton of found photographs, and boxes upon boxes of discarded objects. I collect and record parts of life, a kind of contemporary urban archeology. What's the saying--God is in the details? Well, maybe not God. But in the details I find clarity about the world, and in the people I photograph I find clarity about Baltimore. It is not about ego, glitz, or an angle. Just people. Just life. x This work is not designed to affect change or educate about social conditions. A section of time, a part of a life, is all it is. These images are a portion of what is around us, brief moments that are often missed or ignored. Gathering these fragments of events and learning about these people make me feel somehow more connected to this city.

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