Tag Christof is a photographer and writer based in Los Angeles, CA and Santa Fe, NM whose work explores issues in design, architecture, and cultural change. He has photographed on the road in 49 U.S. states for his long-term documentary project, America is Dead, and formerly served as editor-in-chief of Human Being Journal. He holds an MA from Central Saint Martins in London and additionally studied at Parsons School of Design, UCLA, and the University of New Mexico.
WHAT'S INSIDE YOUR LANGLY?
My Nikon Df, a range of Zeiss Milvus + Voigtlander Nokton primes, a Leica M kit, my MacBook Pro, + Kodak Portra Film. For longer trips / shoot days: a couple of sketchbooks, strobes + some small LED flashlights, gaffer tape, an emergency hard drive, microfiber cloths, filters, + even more Portra!
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO EXPLORE?
Mostly a sense of urgency. I shoot a lot of 20th century architecture, and many, many of the places I've photographed have since been demolished. I often feel like I'm racing against the clock to capture as many of these places as I can before they meet a wrecking ball. In any case, I don't need much motivation to get out and explore - it's just in my nature to keep walking forward. I've tried office jobs, but I just can't sit still that long. I take every centimeter of freedom I can get and am on the go as ...
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?
1970s cinema, Modernist architecture and midcentury product design, writings on art and design by people like Reyner Banham, Douglas Coupland, and Metahaven, good music, and the invisible corners of my favorite cities, Los Angeles, London, Milan, and Santa Fe.
FILM VS DIGITAL?
They're two sides of the same coin! I don't believe that appreciating one has to diminish your appreciation for the other. Film is beguiling and temperamental. It's far less certain and often less reliable than digital, but when used skillfully, you can make unbelievably rich images with it that somehow ...
WHAT'S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE PHOTO?
I suppose it's a night shot I took a couple years back looking through the window of a Waffle House in Virignia. It isn't my favorite image, but more people have requested that single photograph as a print than any other photo I've ever made. I think it reminds people of a warped version of Ed Hopper's "Nighthawks" way.