Street Photography: “Fuhgeddaboudit”

It’s been a busy week. I had a corporate photo shoot, workshops at National Parks in two states, and the launch of a Facebook group for workshop attendees. I continued to photograph on the streets almost every day, but writing the blog had to take a backseat to these other commitments.

It was fun to go back and finally see the photographs from the prior week. This one, among others, jumped out at me. It was a wet gloomy afternoon. It was a dropless rain that was so misty and fine, you don’t even realize how soaking it can be. Umbrella-less, I walked closely along the exterior of Macy’s department store on 34th Street in a futile attempt to stay dry. That brought me within inches of some of the decorative touches that grace the building.

Ahead of me I saw that the facade featured ornamental sconces. They were graceful, detailed, and – in the grey flat sky – radiated a warm inviting glow. The instinct was to photograph what I understood the object to be conceptually – identified as a sconce. But what if I had never seen a sconce or any kind of lamp before. What would I understand the object to be? And how might I go about observing it?

So in classic New York parlance, I decided to “fuhgeddaboudit.” Of course, I can’t really erase from my memory what a light fixture looks like. But I can always use my imagination. So why not look at the “object” from directly underneath? What shapes will that viewpoint reveal? How will the details and the warm glow appear?

It was an interesting thought experiment to provoke seeing an everyday object in a fresh way and to inspire an image I might not have otherwise created.

And, yes. As of 2016, “fuhgeddaboudit” is officially a word in the Oxford dictionary.

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Published by Xiomáro

Nationally exhibited artist, photographer, speaker, teacher, and curator. Author of "Weir Farm National Historic Site" (Arcadia Publishing).

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