Street Photography: 32nd Street

Some time ago I read a quote from Garry Winogrand (1928-1984). He explained, “I photograph to see what something will look like photographed.” There are many images I create that don’t have any particular meaning or are lacking of any specific statement or symbolism. They are just moments with random elements that intrigue me. And, yes, I do wonder what they will look like when photographed – because there is something different that happens. The image is not reality. It’s just a two dimensional rectangle devoid of sound, touch, smell, or taste. And then, as is my preference, the images are presented in the artifice of black and white.

In this scene, it was the beard. It’s whiteness looked striking against his complexion. I wanted to see what that would look like in a photograph. I was especially curious about whether the beard would be even more prominent if the image was black and white. It was a bonus that I was able to quickly compose the photograph with the large advertisement above his head. It looks as if the woman also caught sight of the stark white beard and is swooning over it. The back of the head in the foreground completes a triangle with its apex softened by the woman’s hair and the curve of the arch.

Indeed, not every photograph has to have a deep meaning. It can simply be an image that stands alone as a visual pleasure or a geometric puzzle over which to trace your eyes.

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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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