arts and design

‘It was a lot of waiting, and watching people cross’: Jeff Larason’s best phone picture


As director of the Massachusetts Highway Safety Division, Jeff Larason first noticed the two streaks of light from the window of his third-storey office. He would have been preparing for the day, nursing a morning coffee. He would watch as a cross formed on Stuart Street, Boston, at around 8am. It would hold for only a few minutes in the earliest spring weeks. The shape intrigued him, and he recognised its potential; alongside his main job, he had been photographing the streets of Boston for 40 years. Still, it took two years to get this shot.

Larason used his phone, which had a better zoom lens than his usual camera. “It was a lot of waiting, and watching people cross the street,” he recalls. “I didn’t mind. I’ve always been drawn to the way people hold themselves, and the story that tells. Do they have a bounce in their step? How are they holding their shoulders, tipping their head? How have the years of their life weighed on them?” The photo is entirely organic, the three men unaware of the serendipitous moment they’d created together.

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Recently, a building has gone up in the adjacent street. This dance of light has gone for ever. “But that’s the case with all street photography, and all light,” Larason says. “It’s transient. It’s there, and then it’s gone.”



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