Jaywalking In NYC
Images have been taken from satellites. One can shoot from jet planes, helicopters, and trains, buses, cars, and get great stuff.
But you have to get down on the ground and start walking to get the intimate relationships that occur between the people in your images and you.
I’ve been a New Yorker all my life. I live in Brooklyn now, and I love it. But the moment I hit Manhattan, I feel the difference. The everyday pace, the nuttiness, the density.
New York is obviously only one place that has spawned a great history of street shooters. Every great city - Paris and London for two, also have a history of wonderful street photography.
In my own work, I try not to intrude or change the situation, but I will happily do portraits on confrontation.
I’ve been asked what I’m looking for when I go out to shoot. My answer is, “absolutely nothing.” I’m not looking for anything. I’m just desperately trying to stay open to whatever is in front of me.
Others have then asked, “Then what motivates you to take an image?”
A rip in the fabric.
How the photographer got there is indescribable and mysterious. It stops dead in their tracks those who would explain the whole business for us and make logical and predictable the content of photographs.
- Phil Perkis
Something, (God knows what) that delights me, the unexpected beam of light, the gesture of a hand or face, the surprising juxtaposition of colors, anything that makes me smile or takes my breath away.
I, like most of us, miss most of the shots I try for but I console myself as I console you, by noting that we did see it and that’s, after all, what it’s all about.