There was a small piece in The New Yorker this week (9 July 2001) on Joel Sternfeld, who has a new exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as an interview with him on NPR this morning ("Weekend Edition," 7 July 200 1), which might be available at www.npr.org. From the New Yorker piece, which included one image, I hadn't realized he worked in large format (my guess without seeing an actual print would have been Mamiya 7/7II), though I thought t he image included was composed with remarkable care for a candid street portrait .
In the interview he talked a bit about working in 8x10" and said he felt that hi s subjects took the process more seriously because of the elaborate equipment. He mentioned that he usually tells the subjects that the film costs $7 a sheet, and that adds to their sense that they are participating in something important. It seems as if he is capitalizing on the response that I am sure many of us ge t when walking around with a big camera, of people saying "Take my picture! Tak e my picture!," without really knowing anything about you or your project or wha t will become of the pictures you take.