I love to photograph and can’t always wait for a commission to come along. So I use every opportunity in my day-to-day comings and goings to be creative.
I’m in and out of New York City’s Penn Station pretty regularly. Some time in the 1990s, the station underwent a much-needed renovation. Although it’s still a miserable place to be in, the facelift made the experience a little less like a dark and fetid basement.
One of the first decorative treatments I noticed during this 1990s makeover was this curious looking fellow pictured above. He appears in relief along the wall of the staircase that leads to tracks 20 and 21 of the Long Island Railroad.
Perhaps you may know who he represents. I’m thinking it’s some sort of mythological figure. I haven’t had a chance to find out and, if you can identify his origins, please enlighten me.
But over the past two decades, every time I pass by I keep seeing Harrison Ford – he of Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Blade Runner fame.
And for the past two decades, I’ve been meaning to photograph him. Finally, I made up my mind to do it. I had my camera ready and, on the appointed day, I had the misfortune of finding him boarded up and the stairwell closed for repairs.
For the next week or so I would pass by to check when he would be released from his wooden incarceration. Finally, he was freed and I was ready with my camera.
If you’ve been to my workshops, you’ll be familiar with my discussion of the Dutch tilt. And given the weirdness of Harrison Ford silently watching me for over 25 years, I could not think of a more fitting angle from which to photograph him.
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