“Passengers” by John Schabel
Passengers is a new book of photographs taken by John Schabel in the mid-’90s. For the series, the photographer positioned himself at the end of an airport runway and pointed his 500mm reflex lens with a 2x teleconverter lens (giving him 1000mm zoom) at plane cabin windows, capturing intimate moments of contemplation and action from the passengers within. Taken without anyone’s permission, Schabel commented, “It was a different time and there was not the same kind of suspicion of cameras… There wasn’t such a sensitively about the airport.”
The book’s images are scans of 8×10 prints Schabel made in the darkroom, curated by him and Jack Woody – the founder of publishing house Twin Palms – to ensure the final product was exactly as they wanted. “I think viewers can identify with those situations and then bring their own feelings to it,” Schabel says. A sense of isolation is conveyed as each photograph is given its own page, and is accompanied by next to no text.
Passengers is available now from Twin Palms.