Q&A: Ed Panar


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Prior planning prevents piss-poor performance. What will baffle future generations about our day and age? Probably something that we can’t even recognize right now. Are you aware of any conspiracies? No comment. What is it that interests you about photography? So many things, such as how there are certain moments when photography makes time travel seem possible. What is the worst thing about city life? The realization that you only ever get to experience an abridged version of it. What part of the planet would you like to explore? For some reason South America and the Southern Hemisphere in general have always had a particular interest to me, and I hope to visit one day. In the meantime, I try to remember how the places that I think I know could be seen as far away and strange from other locations on the planet too. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? Ghosts, because we are haunted by all kinds of things that are not necessarily physically present. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Only the ones who did not oppress others. Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Geology – to be able to see terrain like a fossil. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? This hasn’t happened in a while, maybe because I have accepted as inevitable that you always miss more than you could possibly capture, and that’s ok. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. City Photographer (this was once an official position here in Pittsburgh). Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. I tend to be more interested in how photographs operate as components of series or within groups, so there are too many specific photographs that come to mind. How often do you take other people’s advice? Not as often as I should, but whenever I can get it I do my best.

Describe a personal hell. Malls and large shopping centers during the holidays, or really at any time. Which living person do you most admire? Too many to list, I’m glad you’re all here. On what occasion do you lie? It somehow feels less wrong when it involves multinational corporations. What was the last crime you witnessed? Probably some sort of traffic violation. What is the best way to educate yourself? Stay curious, ask better questions, define your lines of inquiry. What is the next book you want to read? Humankind by Timothy Morton. Ultimate camera? The one that is on hand at the moment you need it! Most used camera? Currently: Sony AR7II. What object do you want? A room full of Imacon scanners. What object do you need? Music. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? We figured out how to talk to each other, all around the world, non-stop, while hardly ever uttering a word out loud or seeing other people IRL. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? Sure. Describe a cheap thrill. The first sip of a fresh can of sparkling La Croix. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bringa camera to. I would have loved to been wandering around with a camera on the International Space Station as it first settled into orbit around Earth. Are impulses more important than consequences? Not necessarily. Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to effortlessly recognize and identify all individual flora on sight, especially trees. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? No matter what else, it will most definitely include coffee, doing some work, and looking at some photographs.

Ed Panar is a Pittsburgh based photographer who has published numerous photobooks including: Animals That Saw Me Volume One and Volume Two (2011 and 2016), Salad Days (2012), Same Difference (2010), and Golden Palms (2007). His project Walking Home is currently on view as part of the exhibition The Grain of the Present at Pier 24 Photography in San Francisco.

See more — edpanar.com / Instagram.

Animals That Saw Me: Volume Two is available from The Ice Plant
Back East postcard set was just published by Deadbeat Club