N Train, past masters, social media and the XT3.
I am leaving some things behind. I am, at this time, so excited every time I go out with my camera that even on my most tired and strained, New York City-has-me-down kind of days, I am able to become completely ensnared by this photographic journey. I am very interested in making pictures of split seconds, of trying to convey a feeling, and a real sense of time, and how ephemeral it is, for all of us, in every place we find ourselves. In New York, I have many many people and places and things to play with. An unending canvas on which to make whatever points I please. But….it’s possible anywhere, anytime….with considered adaptations, any location can suit.
I will always seek to connect with people, always try to create images that I feel are my interpretation of classic Street Photography. But….I am changing. And I feel that there must be a new way to express this world we’re in….the minutiae, the second to second passage of time. Every footstep I take someone else’s foot has been there before me. But, for the moments that my feet connect with the particular patch of pavement, that section of Manhattan is mine. As soon as my foot loses connection with that spot, it ceases to be mine. It will become someone else’s spot, and as I go, I claim, for a minute amount of time, a succession of footsteps on pavement. Territory that is only transiently mine. And that’s time…everything and everyone is already in the past.
So…..how do you convey this in a picture? Here is a moment with a little girl on the N Train. This image is conventionally done, relatively anyway. But for every single action and position we take ourselves or observe others take, there is, everywhere you look, another action or position in close proximity. Contradicting and coinciding and synonymous all at once….how is it possible to present all of these conflicts and textures in one image?
One critical problem for me is having a tool, in this case a camera, that can satisfy all of my needs. It’s very tricky, finding a suitable middle ground, achieving a balance that fulfills all required elements. Image quality, speed and ease of use are big considerations. With the new work I am currently producing, speed and adaptability are key. Image quality is critical but I have to sacrifice a few megapixels to get the pictures that convey this ephemeral passage of seconds.
I’m still at work on these new images, and I love every single minute I spend working on them. I’m not sure yet about when I want to share them. Bringing original views can be difficult for artists….after all, all of this work will be on view, and retaining originality becomes impossible once people begin to imitate the work. I’m so grateful for past masters that retained their personal photographic style, relatively un-influenced and unaffected by the work of their peers, because everybody’s work was not on a daily feed thrust out into the void. They worked on their own, following their own footsteps, blazing a path through the woods with effort and vision. Now….well worn paths host many feet, and very few trails meander into the woods off these popular routes.
I am loving the process of making pictures. New camera in hand, I can honestly say that having the proper tool changes everything. It’s critical as well to separate the privilege and joy of making pictures from the display of them for immediate public consumption on Instagram.
Right now I’m happy to use a camera (Fujifilm XT3) that can keep pace with my ripping, tearing crazy thoughts, and allow me to appreciate the act of photography at its most basic.