I mentioned in my last article that as I progress as an artist I am coming to different conclusions as to the use of post editing to enhance photographs. At what point do they stop being photos and become pieces of graphic art. If you have viewed this space over the past years you will have noticed that I have come right up to this line and even past it on a number of occasions. [Read more…] about More of New York Photography Unedited
The Queensboro Bridge is one of the most iconic crossings in the world. It spans the East River along side the world famous Roosevelt Island Cable Car. The bridge draws thousands of tourists and commuters per day. It also is one of the only toll-free crossings in all of New York City.
One of the best parts of the bridge is that it is available to pedestrians. Along the walkway is a chain link fence where many people leave locks with messages on them. Others are blank, leaving only the ones that have placed them to know their true meaning. It’s definitely something you have to look for but priceless when you find them.
In New York City, there is no greater divide between the haves and, quite literally, the have-nots than in Midtown Manhattan. According to reports from CBRE in 2012, rents between 49th and 59th Street on 5th Avenue were $3,000/ sq ft. Tourists line up to pay $60 for a t shirt and there are 24 hour computer stores. However, lost amongst the glitz and glamor are those who have fallen through the cracks of city society. Those whose stories are too infinite to mention and whose circumstances are too complicated to explain. They sleep on church steps and subsist on hand outs and charity.
If you have followed this journal you have seen some of these photos before. One could argue that it has been some what exploitative of me to use others destitution as “art”. I assure you that was never my intention, but only to simply showcase life as I saw it. However, I think there may be some merit to that argument. In order to rectify this I am re-presenting those same photos in this journal specifically to raise awareness to their plight.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter what keeps them on the streets, be it drugs, or mental illness, or disability, or anything else; just as it doesn’t matter what you do about it, as long as you do something. Give something. Even if all you do is think about it and discuss it in polite company. I hope that by doing this journal I have done something. I hope to do more.
In the heart of New York City lies Rockefeller Center. The architecture is second to none. The art deco designs are perfect and when photographed in black and white they give off a perfect noir feel. The beauty of the gardens in the plaza and the views from the top of 30 Rockefeller Center are incomparable. When built in 1930, the 22 acres it covers were dedicated to beautiful murals, sculptures, and architecture from the most (and infamous) artists and artisans of the day. Today it stands as one of the most visited places in the world.
The people of New York City are what make it what it is. They are unique, strange, fun, powerful, humble, and hard working. All of which New York as a city most certainly is.
The East River runs through New York City separating Brooklyn and Queens from Manhattan. It’s dirty and gritty and iconic; just like New York in every way.
New York City is a place of incredible color. The one color in particular I always associate with the city more than any other is blue. I look up and see a glorious reflection of the sky off of the glass of the buildings or off of a simple rain puddle on 8th Avenue. The city is wrapped up in blue, just take a look around.
Take a moment. Step back and think. How does a city the size of New York City function? Only through the hard work of those that fix the streets, collect the trash, clean the streets, work on the tugboats and barges on the river. Through the dedication of those that work the midnight shift so that when we wake up in the morning our city is all the more perfect. Without out any filters or fancy photography tricks this is the first of many journals I plan to post in their honor.
As the sun goes down over New York you can feel a change coming over the city. It’s not that the city awakens because as we all know, it never truly sleeps. It’s more like a mood change. If you put a soundtrack to it, it wouldn’t be a full symphony orchestra or an operatic aria. It would a lone whining saxophone filling the gray night air (think an abstraction from The Love Supreme); much different than the frantic piano piece of the hectic work day. (think Flight of the Bumble Bee) It’s the sound of the endless possibility of victory, defeat, or both. When the night falls over New York City anything can happen and usually does.
William Shakespeare once wrote, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances…” If the world is truly a stage then the people of New York City are at the very center of it. The human story that unfolds here daily is so rife with drama that it fairly swallows you up as soon as you leave your front door to wade into it. As shown here, just by going a few blocks in any direction you can encounter: creativity, romance, sadness, ingenuity, desperation, heroism, despair, and solemn determination. Each New Yorker contributing an equal amount to City’s story. Walt Whitman summed it up best by saying, “The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.”