Sunday, March 11, 2012

New York City's Street Shows

As the weather warms and draws New Yorkers from their winter cocoons out into the streets, the city becomes a festival of street shows. Anything imaginable (and mostly legal) is possible and even likely to happen. 

I was taking a photo walk through Greewich Village (the west village) and wandered into the SoHo District (South of Houston Street), which becomes a shopping mall on weekends. The abundance of people roaming the streets is a clarion call to street performers. I wandered past several jazz ensembles, a juggler, and three a cappella groups of doo wop singers, and stopped at the third because they sounded the best. There was quite a crowd listening to them, and as I enjoyed the music and watched their faces and expressions something about one of the performers seemed very familiar to me. I chatted with them after one of their tunes and mandatory sales pitch for their cds. And as it turns out, several members of the group, which by the way is called Spank (email spank.doowop@yahoo.com) told me stories of having been singing on the streets of SoHo for many years. I realized I knew one performer from photos I shot of his group in 1990 (at that time the group was called Solo). He's the singer on the far left in the first image and the far right on the second and third images.

This first image is the current group Spank, shot digitally, processed digitally. I gave it my standard slightly warm tone treatment.




The second and third images are of the initial group from 1990, Solo. They were both shot on Fuji Neopan 400 film and scanned into my computer with a Nikon film scanner. The first of these shots was scanned some years ago, so I added it as it was when I processed it at that time.



After I got home from the photo walk I dug through my film archives and found the rolls of images. I scanned another of them and processed the shot using my current technique - which includes adding the warmer tone to the image.



21 comments:

  1. This is a great story, always nice to see same people in photos from before and now

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  2. Superb series, my friend, a great great work. You are really talented to catch beautiful instants.
    Congrats! Laurence.

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  3. A beautiful series... you are really talented to catch great instants. Congrats!
    Laurence.

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  4. time passes for everyone. interesting stories friend Gene

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  5. Interesting story and series Gene. Maybe another shot in 10 years time? ;-)

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  6. Really nice story and shots- and nice to meet the musicans after all these years.

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  7. That's why i love photography. Phenomenal work! You just made my day!

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  8. Hi Gene, thanks for pointing me to your blog. Great shots and nice stories. You're on my reading list now

    Ubo

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  9. This is a great story and very fine coincidence both for them and for you.
    It seems that the world have not that changed for them,as your images indicates,especially between the first and the third image ,they looks to be a perfect match,.
    As for the images themselves ,they are a matches too in style ,editing and with the same composition too,may be you deliberately done that.
    this is a fine coincidence that some great numbers of photographers should see ,I suggest to mix the first with the third one ,title it after twenty two years,add the story to it ,and send it for 1x.com ,I think it will find it way to publish ,where thousands of the viewers will see it,the publishing there is very difficult ,but I have seen the same story there with two images and some twenty years in between.
    BTW,my first time to write on some one's blog.

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  10. Waw, awesome story. It's amazing the people that use the streets as a way of life. I use to think is something temporary, not definitive. This is a proof for the opposite. Congrats!!

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  11. Gene, this is great. I love that you capture more than a photo with your shots. Great story and what cool opportunity.

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  12. Nice story with current and historical pics Gene!Very interesting reading here on your blog!

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  13. gene, fantastic photos and reading... i enjoyed both greatly... congrats on your work

    fatima salcedo

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  14. Gene, What a cool story! It's amazing that they are still together and you ended up photographing them again. I have to say that I like your more recent photo better. It seems a bit more skillful which I guess would happen after 20 years :)

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  15. Alan Eastham (Alifink)March 16, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    Fascinating insight, it would be interesting to find the bloke again and show him your photographs of now and 1990

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  16. Great Story and interesting Images! i want to say more, but my english is not good enough, so i enjoy your Work without Words ;)

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  17. Very good Street Images and interesting Story, i want to say more, but my English is not so good, so i enjoy your Work without Words ;)

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  18. interesting Images ...!what's Processing is this So Great B & W.

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  19. Very Nice Street images. My favorite type of photography You're blog on these photos was a good read too. Thank you for turning me onto your site Gene. Happy St Patty's day. Get some more good shots for this lucky day.
    Kind regards
    Sandra

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  20. Great story! I also have met people I had shot years ago, it seems like their faces are somehow engraved in our souls to... (sorry for my bad English)

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