A Photographer's Journal
In the 1990’s The New York Times published a Sunday photo at the back of the Metro Section called A Photographer’s Journal. These photos were little poetic snapshots of daily life in the city and it was the first thing that I’d look for in the Sunday paper. As a young photographer starting out I’d get news assignments which had me running from City Hall, to protests and other events, but more than anything I wanted to get published in the Journal and be amongst the other photographic poets of the city.
With a Leica in hand I’d walk all over the city taking pictures as life and all of its little dramas unfolded around me, then develop the film in my kitchen, make prints with a Durst enlarger and then mail prints into the Times. After a lot of rejections, I finally made it into print. I can remember the night before the paper came out. The paper used to be printed in the basement of the Times building on 43rd street. Each Sunday an armada of Times trucks would idle outside of the building as they filled with the brick-like Sunday section and then each truck would set out across the city to bodegas, newsstands and subscribers. As each truck billowed past I was overjoyed to know that my photo would be seen the following morning by so many. Since that first photo was published, many followed and are collected here.
Much has changed in the 25 years since I was first published. Without cell phones, the dramas and emotions of peoples lives were expressed on upward looking faces. Their faces were like living canvasses which revealed their joys, longings, ambitions, setbacks, melancholy and excitement. I am thankful to have witnessed New York's theater of discreetly expressed emotion on the streets, subways and dark corners before people were confined to their downward looking existence on minuscule screens which has so profoundly changed the way we interact and relate to one another.