Photography August 18, 2014
It’s Photography Month here on the ADC blog! We’ve been featuring a different photographer every weekday of the month, from professionals to hobbyists. One thing they have in common: they are all ADC Members, part of our globe-spanning creative community. And this time around, our Photographer of the Day is not only an ADC Member, but also one of our own staff!
How old were you when you took an interest in photography?
I became interested in photography early in high school. While everyone ran around with their point and shoot Canons, I put my allowance towards a very (at the time) high-end Nikon D50 professional DSLR. I would photograph everything in my little teenage life, from concerts in an ungentrified 2006 Williamsburg to peacocks at the nature preserve near my house.
Photography became elevated to an art form when I decided, after my freshman year of college, to change from being a sociology major to a visual arts major with a primary focus on photography. I took a summer class at Fordham’s Manhattan campus at Lincoln Center, and spent the rest of that summer shooting dozens upon dozens of rolls of Kodak-Tri X (the staple black and white 35mm film on the market), roaming everywhere from the 79th Street Boat Basin to Coney Island.
What do you love most about photography as an artform?
Photography as an artform is best explained by my favorite photographer of all-time, Henri Cartier Bresson. His philosophy is called “l’instant décisif” or the decisive moment. Life consists of such decisive moments, and photography allows us to capture these moments and preserve them forever. But if you’re not observant, the moment will be lost forever.
What is your favorite thing to shoot?
Fittingly, my favorite style of shooting, street photography, was practiced popularized by Bresson. I’ll spend hours roaming the streets, vigilant, poised, waiting for the exact moment in time when that basket of bread falls off the back of the delivery truck or when a devious bird overhead drops something onto an unsuspecting shoulder. New York is rife with these moments, but you have to be ready to hit that shutter.
“New York is rife with these moments, but you have to be ready to hit that shutter.”
What is your favorite piece of equipment?
My favorite piece of equipment is tried and true: the manual 35mm SLR loaded with a roll of black and white Kodak Tri-X. I’ve shot on all kinds of cameras, analog and digital; some I bought for $2 at a flea market, some were borrowed $5,000 professional DSLRs, but the 35mm fits me like a glove.
Which person most inspires your photographic passion?
Traveling fuels my passion. Some of my favorite photographs have been taken right here in New York, but in my opinion, my best prints were captured in Prague, Paris, and Italy. And so, with that in mind, I might as well bear a Bresson flag at this point; he championed the traveling photojournalism cause during his time working for Magnum magazine, shooting everywhere from China to the Dutch East Indies.
When your photo studio is the streets of the world, the possibilities (and decisive moments) are absolutely endless.