Sarah Nicole Prickett

on Taryn Simon

An excerpt from DEAR DAVE, 25

A locksmith of secrets abides by the following rules, wherever she is photographing for the Agency. Higher resolutions are sought and lower shutter speeds preferred, especially “where light conditions are good and the finest detail is necessary.” Kodacolor film “is desirable only when color is an important feature of the subject,” and photos should never be cropped or masked, lest “the angular relationship” to the subject be “left without its frame of reference.” Contrast should be medium. Each print is accompanied by a text, which should give granular information on where, when, from how far away, and with what type of camera the photo was taken, and also should list “any unusual conditions at the scene” that “might help to identify an unknown activity.” Finally, although a single photo can be enough, “there is no such thing as too many photographs of a subject.”