“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years”
Please wait while flipbook is loading. For more related info, FAQs and issues please refer to DearFlip WordPress Flipbook Plugin Help documentation.
I fell in love with the idea of New York through the photographs of Stieglitz and Steichen, the essays of E.B. White,the theatrical plays of Neil Simon, and the voice of Red Barber recounting the legends of the Giants, Yankees, and Dodgers each Friday morning with Bob Edwards on NPR.
While I know that today’s New York is different from my childhood impressions, the city that I have discovered in these photographs is as vibrant ever.
Since 2001 I have had the opportunity to travel to New York frequently for professional and personal reasons. I love spending time with my friends that live there. Every time I go there I photograph extensively in an attempt to understand the structure of the city and the people who call it home.
I have tried to capture truly candid moments in the spirit of the classic NYC street photography of Garry Winnogrand and Andre Kertesz with the raw honesty of Walker Evans in his subway series.
It is a photography that is so spontaneous to the point that it requires me to set my focus and exposure prior to even looking through the viewfinder as I need to be able to point and shoot in an instant as life unfolds around me.
It is a style of photography that is challenging because it is about documenting discrete moments in time without knowing what you are going to encounter. It is about decisive moments when you see something interesting and wait for it to arrange itself in the viewfinder in an interesting way.
Many of my photographs were taken outside the window of a moving car. You are not supposed to make photographs this way but I am not interested in pretty pictures. Instead I am interested in documenting a memory of an image that caught my attention.
People silently smoking within the shadows between two buildings on 5th avenue seemingly trapped inside their own thoughts, a building painter exchanging a glance with a well dressed woman who is perhaps wishing she were his model for a blank canvas… these were caught in a blink of the eye while passing by.
I have adopted this city as my own. I have tried to document authentic New Yorkers in candid moments who are not staring up at the architectural wonders like a tourist. I want to describe people who are native to this place and thrive under the constant pressure of a dense and competitive environment.
It is my hope that these candid and fleeting moments captured through my lens will form a montage of visual experience that conveys its own meaning without words.
Photographing in New York has enabled me to use my camera to answer the questions that Dorthea Lange posed to every photograph, “is this my world?”, if not, “what does this have to do with my world?”
I hope the answers come in seeing the everyday banal moments of New Yorkers living their lives in a way that is both familiar and yet as unique as the city is itself.
These images are special to me not only because of what the represent but also because they were all made using traditional film and a medium format camera and represent the level of commitment necessary to spend hours in the darkroom coaxing these images to life. Kodak has since stopped making the film I used on this project.
I hope you enjoy!