by louis fleckenstein
The New York City skyline featuring the skyscrapers of midtown. New York City.
I went to my first photowalk yesterday evening. A large group of around 20 (25?) photographers from Google + got together to walk around Greenwich Village with their cameras. It was a really interesting experience and I ended up meeting a few people I only ever interacted with online prior to the walk. The majority of the photographers were street photographers. Street photography (for those who don’t know) is a type of documentary photography that tends to feature subjects in candid situations within public settings. It’s not the type of photography I generally gravitate towards (although I have posted a few shots that could fall into that realm).
However, what was interesting was that in talking to several of the other photographers, I found that I had a lot of trouble categorizing my own photography. I initially started out by saying that I ‘do urban landscapes and some natural landscapes around New York City’ but that seemed so vague when I actually said it in conversation! In other conversations, I started to try to explain that I take ‘emotive urban’ photography which just ended up sounding incredibly pretentious. I also mentioned that I tend to link writing with photography which ended up being more confusing than anything. In actuality, it was quite amusing that I had so much trouble explaining just what it is I ‘do’. It’s a strange predicament to be in, for sure.
I was initially going to write quite a bit of prose to accompany this photo about how the city encompasses the individual leading the individual to seek to rise above the city and some other meandering thoughts about the greater concept of the city in relation to the lone individual. However, the photo discussions from last night have been foremost in my mind.
It’s sometimes difficult to explain how we focus our passions into tangible form. It could be the reason why humans developed music and art and other creative forms. These forms that exist alongside and sometimes outside of written and spoken language seek to make sense of what often can’t be explained with mere words.
When I was younger, I used to imagine what a world without written or spoken language would be like. If there were no words to express the complexities and beauty that surrounds us, what would we use to reel in the (often beautiful) chaos?
I still need to go through the very few photos that I did take on the walk (and maybe share the photos I ended up in as well). I find that when I go out to shoot with people, I am more focused on observing without capturing. I look forward to more walks and more chances to figure out how to put into words that which I can’t quite find the words for.
View this photo larger and on black on my Google Plus page
On October 25, 1940, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. became the first African American general in the U.S. Army.
“Brig. Gen. Benjamin O. Davis watches a Signal Corps crew erecting poles, somewhere in France.”, 08/08/1944
One of the many amazing free shows Texas showed me while I was road tripping.
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