Manhattan Skyline

Manhattan Skyline 2019-06-12 14:44:06
When I am driving round places I’m not familiar with and am not a driver, I like to make pictures of the view as I go and see what things look like photographed. Gary Winogrand is famously quoted for this idea. What difference does it make though when the element of chance is added by pressing the shutter button and not really being sure of what you are capturing?

This is an experiment I attempt when I’m a passenger. Occasionally I receive some interesting results. I like in this instance how the flag is floating freely on the left and the flag on the  flagpole on the right is not moving. The black black adverting sign adds to the mystery I feel.
I have to confess it is difficult to make good and interesting pictures when visiting a foreign city as a tourist. In fact if I am at the mercy of guides and other people, or English is not the first language, I find it very difficult to make good pictures. However in a city where English is the standard language, and I feel comfortable enough to wander aimlessly, then sometimes I rewarded with good pictures. Our recent trip to New York City, should have provided this, sadly though we ran out of time.

Some observations about New York City. This was our third visit with a high likelihood of I being our last. Each trip was too short even though they got longer each time, with the most current one being 12 days. There seems to be large swathes of empty blocks once you were far enough away from areas like Times Square. The amount of homelessness was by far the most apparent this trip. We encountered several local New Yorkers in service industries like restaurants. Some shops and stores seemed to employ men who looked as old if not older than me. In a country where the minimum wage is quite low, I’m taken aback by this. Sadly I never got the chance to speak at length to these people. We met and spoke at length to Laticia. She was living in Brooklyn, and was working in a chemist chain store called CVS. Very funny with lots of interesting things to say. We probably spent more money there than needed but it was so much fun. We also went on a 'Crime Tour', led by a former NYC policeman. He had lived in Little Italy, in the east Village all his life along with several generations of his family. He claimed his grandfather sold alcohol during prohibition. Had seen several crime figures in his life as a teenager running errands and as a cop. All good fun.

I got to visit some great exhibitions while in NYC and may share some thoughts on them in the future. Let me say this much I have a much greater respect now for Robert Mapplethorpe after seeing his retrospective exhibition at the Guggenheim. It was weird seeing Gary Winogrand’s work in colour at the Brooklyn Museum, and Jeff Wall’s current exhibition on at the Gagoisian was 98% gold, one picture felt contrite the rest huge and inspiring.
Gary Winnogrand's famous Brooklyn Zoo image in colour!

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