city of ghosts & dreams
New York City is still considered by many people to be the center of the world. And as much as it has changed over the years, it remains a cacophony of sounds, a riot of sights, and an overload for every other sense. I grew up in the shadow of the city, close enough in the suburbs of New Jersey that on cloudy nights, you could see the glow of Manhattan in the sky from my backyard. And though I may have once been derided as being the embodiment of the term “bridge and tunnel,” I nonetheless feel fortunate to have lived so close to the teaming mass of energy that the city has always been. Now, many years removed from my life on the east coast, I live in a faraway place, and my creativity, my way of looking at the world, has changed because of it. I still get the opportunity to return to New York City, almost on an annual basis. I never struggle to make photographs when I return. I would even go out on a limb by saying that it is actually easier to photograph in New York City than in other places; certainly easier than shooting in my current hometown in the desert southwest. The street life is a constant parade of visual interest, and with millions of people crowded into such as small area, one could go around shooting at will, all the while fading in to the background, going unnoticed, for the most part. The photos in this series represent an improvisational approach to shooting in the streets. I didn’t know what I wanted to photograph until I saw it. My approach was to walk the streets with my camera in hand, with no premeditated plan. I simply let my intuition lead me. The pairing of images, further embraced the idea of visual improvisation. An unexpected development for me while working on this project was my decision to present the work in color. Though I primarily work in black and white, I realized that a good number of these images were dependent on their color to create the most accurate representation of the emotional response I was feeling while creating the images.