Saturday, June 16, 2012

Why street

As I rode the train into New York City today, I was tuned into the growing buzz of pleasant expectation. There's many reasons why I enjoy shooting street. I'm asked about it often but don't have ready answers, so  I'm constantly trying to distill my feelings into substantive answers. When I walk the streets I feel immersed in the randomness of the lives and incidents around me. And yet, while it all appears to be chaotic,when there's a chance interplay of things unrelated a kind of order is generated, and I want to grab that moment. So my photography becomes a time machine, a bookmark in time, which I can then 'develop' in my post-processing.

There's a constant undercurrent of turmoil in the restlessness and perpetual motion of the city - people rushing about, traffic zipping along in a kaleidoscope of colors (a lot of yellow from the cabs) - that could easily overload my senses. It becomes a hodgepodge of ugly noise and visual stimuli. But when I look at it through my viewfinder, an order and structure is superimposed, and with that comes a visual poetry that makes sense of the chaos.

As I walked down Fifth Avenue this afternoon I noticed two gentlemen standing in front of a store window. I wanted to get a shot of the two of them with the store display between them. There was a sudden noise about half a block behind me and everyone in my vicinity turned to look at what caused the disturbance (including the mannequin). The arm position of the gentleman on the left was perfect. I shot a series of six frames as I slowly moved past them unnoticed because of the disturbance. Unfortunately there were so many people on the street that only two of the shots worked at all. Not quite the perfect triangle I'd hoped for, but the arm gesture and the three looking in the same direction made the image for me.