Sometimes I have the uncanny feeling that my photographs are predetermined. While my inner cynic tells me that this must be a trick of the mind conjured after the fact, this feeling—of being driven to a particular place at a particular time so that I would find a thing I was supposed to find—can be so strong and seemingly outside of my own control that it makes the hair on back of my neck stand up.
Such was the case with the photograph of Interstate 80 in Utah.
I was thrumming along the freeway across the salt flats when I felt compelled to pull over. I grabbed my gear from the back seat and bounded off into the emptiness, far out, until the sounds of the cars receded to a low hum, until, out on that vast plane, I felt like I was a little boat on a big dark sea. I turned back to the lights, back to the distant shore, and before me was the picture I was there to make.
My favorite photographs are ones that seem charged with ideas. Just what those ideas are, are up to the viewer; here, one might think of development, of topography, or perhaps of travel, or time. There isn’t a wrong answer; everyone brings their own minds to their looking at things. I like the idea that the viewer will help interpret the picture, that it’s a kind of collaboration. I want my pictures to be the spaces in which we’ll meet.
Born in San Francisco in 1970, Austin Granger has worked as a baker, house painter, naval radar operator and camera salesman. He first began to photograph while studying philosophy in college as a way to get out of his head. Preferring to use traditional film cameras, Granger has come to see his photography as a spiritual practice—a way in which to shape his life and enrich his relationship with the world. He likes motorcycles a lot too.BACK TO PHOTO