I started this project as a result of receiving a $650 (woo-hoo, big money!) faculty grant from the school where I was teaching. I used the money to buy a bunch of Polaroid film. Before I left home I did some test prints of the National Cathedral from various places around D.C.—sort of a fun project in itself—and made some prints so I could see how the materials behaved. I'd never used 4x5 before, so naturally I was impressed with the level of detail I could get in a large print (the prints I made were on 16x20" paper with a 1-inch border all the way around).
So all summer I semi-consciously had two conflicting ideas in mind. For one thing, I conceived of the pictures as ending up in a book, so I was constantly thinking in terms of page spreads. (Remember, it was Polaroid, so I could futz with the little positives in the evenings, trying out pairings.) But the other thing I constantly found myself doing was paying attention to very small details in the pictures, relying on the materials to reveal these things in big prints.
Of course, sometimes I took this a bit too far. This is probably the worst instance. In the top picture, of the building of Petoskey's Bayfront Park, one worker's head kept bobbing into and out of view from the far side of the roof, and I timed the shot to get his disembodied head sitting on the roof peak. I don't know, but now I think it's asking an awful lot to expect a detail like that to carry a picture—did you even notice? I don't think it helps the picture at all. Even in a big print, never mind a book-sized one.