When you start separating people from their rivers, what have you got? Bureaucracy! – Jack Kerouac
I had an appointment downtown last Thursday. Since it was one of our few truly warm spring days so far in ’13, I didn’t want to waste it. I left early and took a long walk down the river. This is a part of the river that I am very familiar with so looking for things to shoot is not enough. I really have to see what is there. I firmly believe that our brain tends to shut our senses down in familiar locations even though everyday the river and its banks change. The river, the banks, the city are all living pulsing things and they change always.
I am thinking about all this because I am listening to too many people talk about my work. They are causing me to doubt my own vision and that is death to creativity. You know you are in trouble when you present your own work apologetically or off-handedly which I did today.
Enough of my pep talk to me. You don’t need to hear it. A few sites seen on a walk from 110th Street to 50th Street…
Yesterday’s photowalk took us to Brooklyn to the Bushwick – Bed-Stuy border. Both of these communities were famous in the 70′s and 80′s but not for very positive reasons. The walk was led by Brenda Ann Kenneally. She has won a boatload of awards including: The W. Eugene Smith Award for Humanistic Photography, The International Prize for Photojournalism in Gijon Spain and the Best of Photojournalism Award for overall Best Use of the Web by the National Press Photographers Association. She moved to Bushwick in the mid 90′s and to Bed-Stuy in 2001 so she really knows the area well. Here are just a few shots to give you a bit of a sense of the walk.
First let’s visit Bushwick.
Brenda Ann and her son Simon
Now, let’s head off to Bed-Stuy.
Simon and Andy
After walk pizza and critique
Andy Velazquez, the young man on crutches with Simon in the Bed-Stuy pictures has a life story that is well worth your attention, I think. You can read it in brief on the New York Times Lens Blog of October 4, 2012, which is linked here.
It was a busy day yesterday. Before Kathy’s birthday dinner, I took a long walk down the Hudson and before that? Put up the first food of the season. Ramps and Asparagus.
Our friend Kathy had her birthday dinner at The Purple Yam in Ditmas Park. It is owned by our friends and Katherine’s former co-worker, Romy and his wife, Amy.
The fruit course before desert.
I went to a book party this evening. A very valuable and important book, I believe. The book is by Michael Kamber.
The title is “Photojournalists On War – The Untold Stories From Iraq”
I strongly suggest taking a look – buying it or checking it out of your local library.
Is the Empire State Building lit up this way?
One of my guiding principles has always been to photograph for myself, to please me, and not to play to the market. I want my work to be honest, real, genuine. If others appreciate it, great, that’s a nice bonus. The work rewards me, not the market place or other people’s opinions.”
— Harvey Stein
I really enjoy the Panorama setting on the iPhone 5. I shot this image yesterday at the State Line Lookout and worked in Snapseed today.