Some digital cameras that don’t look cool to list here, with 28mm, (40mm), 55mm lenses.
WORDS TO LIVE BY:
Photograph to stay awake and be present.
storm thorgerson, salvador dali, dieter rams, andy warhol, henry rollins, daido moriyama, sergio larrain, saul leiter
The Terminator 2, Snatch, Rosso Profundo (deep red), The Secret in their eyes (and most of Ricardo Darin’s movies), Amores Perros, Pan’s Labyrinth, Up, Twin Peaks (not the movie but the TV show, love it, recently watched it again)
I don’t know what post-industrial decline means. It is a vague notion in my head. Boarded-up homes, the husk of dead factories with broken windows and overgrown grass, businesses gone to seed. And the people? The people are missing in this picture of decay in my mind. When I first came to Poughkeepsie fifteen years ago, I was told by an academic that while there were pockets of prosperity in Hudson Valley, this town had suffered from post-industrial decline. I’m not a sociologist and I cannot say with certainty if such a statement is even true. But what draws me to Caleb Stein’s images is that he provides us the people missing from my mental picture. And what’s surprising about these images, no, what’s honest about them is that instead of people, we get faces. Individual lives. Their wealth of stories and secrets are shielded from us—mysteries that we cannot part—but we wonder and ask questions because that is what I think the photographer himself is doing. Hello? How are you? How is your day going? I imagine him asking this over and over again with the same people who then begin to treat him as a neighbor that he undoubtedly is. The photographer as everyman. On the street, in parks, and at the watering hole where we see that his eye is as clear as the water. Consider the remarkable image of the Prom Boy, a picture taken on the street on which I live. This image does fill me with wonder. Such a fine, even tender, mix of contradictions: the large flower in the buttonhole, the bandage on the nose, the slightly askew bowtie, the bruised eye, the stubbornly dignified gaze… I could go on. I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong in saying any of this about the young man. All I can be certain about is that this is what living is about, this tussle with the real, this strange encounter across divisions of race and class, in a rectangular visual space. This is life.
I still remember when I landed in NZ back in 2011 and I took my camera out (the studio) for the first time as a sole means to make sense about this new world around me. I was homesick, depressed, and wandering but it quickly became a form of self expression about my fears, what I like and dislike about society, document new places and meeting new people.
Yet it wasn’t until sometime in 2012, while talking to a creative director, when he mentioned to me that some of my photos reminded him of Daido Moriyama. To whom? I said. Then, after reading about this graphic designer turned photographer, the term ‘street photography’ came about. Google didn’t offer much at the time, other than Cartier-Bresson and Magnum, however ‘Everybody Street’ came up as a Kickstarter campaign. I clicked and thought, how interesting.
Fast forward to 2013 when the movie came out and luckily for me it was immediately available to purchase online, so I bought it right there, the whole deal you know with the extras and what not, through Vimeo. Hit ‘play’ and I still remember the opening line from Joel Meyerowitz when he says, “…some photographers go to the street and other photographers go to the studio… some people want to pretend its a movie and some other photographers step into the world and say ‘show me'”.
It clicked with me on so many levels at the time and still does in many ways. I think this is a movie that celebrates photography in it’s pure sense. A bunch of NY photographers, young and old, from different paths in life that photograph the odd, the funny, the bad and anything in between about our everyday life and celebrate the importance of telling our stories not just as photographers/artists, but as human beings and using perhaps one of most democratic mediums we have at our reach, a photo camera.
If you haven’t seen it, well now it’s free and I think its a must regardless if you are or not into the whole label of ‘street photography’. I think there’s something in there for everyone simply interested in the act of photography itself.
So now you know the drill… get some snacks and drinks, don’t forget those one… yeah… no… the other ones, yeah those cheeky ones!… and play it even if you have seen it already, just do it! Now it’s free!
PS. I found about Hamburger Eyes through this movie while researching more about Cheryl and Boogie, true story!
Thank you to everyone on this journey with us. We only exist because of all the submissions we get. We only exist because people buy our zines and hoodies. We have come a long way and look forward to the long road ahead. Thanks again and again.