Damn….I’m pretty exhausted as I write this but it’s a good thing. Tonight I got a chance to go to the book-signing for Brandon Stanton’s highly anticipated Humans of New York photography book.
Anyone who’s friends with me on Facebook knows that I’m a big fan of the blog and the photography, most especially for the stories behind the humans of my city and I’m always sharing the most touching stories on my personal page. The stories range from poignant to hilarious and it’s not uncommon for me to laugh out loud or get misty-eyed while reading them.
I pre-ordered the book a while back but when I found out today that Brandon would be signing copies at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square, I hustled down there to buy another copy for him to sign. When I got to the event, there was a HUGE line that wrapped around the store all the way to the entrance. I had never seen a turnout for something like that before in New York. Even though I had to wait a long time just to get my book signed, it was fascinating to see who came out. A lot of the people that were actually the more colorful subjects of Brandon’s book showed up to make their appearances and people were rushing over to them to get their autographs too.
When the time finally came for me to get my books signed, I had my little 10-sec speech all prepared in my head but it didn’t go as planned as the night was getting long and clearly Brandon was tired and had to hustle get books signed. He was gracious and friendly but he really had to move it along. All that aside I am now a proud owner of a beautiful collection of stories and photography. Going through the pages and reading of his journey from a bond trader to a well-known photographer is very inspiring.
So if you haven’t checked out the Humans of New York blog, go visit it. And if you haven’t gotten the book, go get a copy.
I’m still enraged by the Zimmerman verdict but in spite of my furious anger, I wasn’t surprised. I spent most of Saturday evening venting my anger and disgust on social media and trying to find a tiny space in my soul where I could find some solace but found none. I wanted to do more than just make angry posts on Facebook.
Apparently there were many New Yorkers that felt the same way because on Sunday, they turned out in droves to express their outrage over the Zimmerman verdict. I went to one of the peaceful rallies at Union Square in Manhattan. In the hot blazing sun, it felt so good to yell, to raise a fist in the air with my fellow New Yorkers to express our anger.
One of the most redeeming things that I love about my city is that it wasn’t just a sea of black faces shouting in protest, but waves of different colors: white, brown, yellow, all united to speak against social injustice. Many used this as opportunity to address other grievances of racially biased laws, such as Stop & Frisk and racial profiling that is rampant amongst the NYPD. It was amazing.
I also spent a great chunk of time photographing the rally and it felt so damn good to document something so personally meaningful. For once, it wasn’t about photographing pretty skyscapes and architecture; it was about documenting a tide of new consciousness that I am so grateful to be a part of. This is one of those times when you realize that art can make a difference, that it can really open people’s eyes and move their minds and hearts, and I want to contribute to that.
You can see more of my pictures from the rally on my Facebook page or Flickr. I plan on taking more shots at the upcoming rallies next week.
My boyfriend and I attempted to see the Femi Kuti concert at Central Park’s Summerstage but we ended up getting shut out because the concert was completely packed and they weren’t letting anyone in. I was totally bummed but I turned around and saw this adorable chocolate-skinned cutie chasing her young brother around while her parents danced and sang to the music from the concert. I couldn’t get over how beautiful and precious she looked; she was full of energy and exuberance and like any young girl, could not stand still for very long. Lucky for me, I did manage to capture her when she did take a minute to stop, look around her, and then like a bolt, she was off again.
Within the past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with my photography in the areas of deconstructing images and then rebuilding them into something new. I’ve been having so much fun with it because it really does feel like abstract painting with a camera. It also forces me to really focus on my environment and re-invent everyday objects and imagery that I encounter. It’s amazing how something so ordinary can be transformed into something beautiful and new.
Starting with this “4sale” sign that I spotted outside of Banana Republic in Midtown Manhattan.
After splicing and duplicating the letters and symmetry of the sign, I blended the image so that it became this:
Doing these is soooo much fun and highly addicting. Additionally it probably makes people wonder what the hell i’m photographing random stuff for. I like to think of it as an exercise in learning how to see the beauty in the simple things.
That’s what my life feels like these days as I devote six days of my week to the day job. The work itself keeps me busy and time flies but unfortunately, it doesn’t leave me much time for anything else. My apartment often looks like a hurricane came through and I barely have time to cook decent meals and pursue my other interests. I’m trying to squeeze in the photography where I can. In this case, this is a window view from where I work. The other shot is a lobby shot reflection.
I’m hoping that once things do tend to normalize, I can take some time off and delve into my creative endeavors. I always feel like a part of me is missing when I can’t regularly engage something artistic. In the meantime, please excuse my sporadic posts. This too shall pass!
A little background here…I’m somewhat of a sci-fi, superhero geek. I say somewhat because I’ve yet to go to Comic Con but thanks to my sister’s evergrowing collection of comic books and watching Superman and X-Men numerous times, I’ve got an attachment to the superhero/sci-fi realm. Who hasn’t dreamt about what it’s like to have superhero powers?
I still can’t fly (yet) but some great new photo apps and gizmos have allowed me to delve into that fantasy realm for a little bit. Check out some fun that I’ve had with these shots.
The last time I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge was seven years ago, when some friends of mine had a hankering for Grimaldi’s Pizza after a long day at work. You can make it across in a matter of minutes but it took us forever because I kept stopping and taking pictures with my little point and shoot Kodak.
This past weekend I decided to revisit one of my favorite bridges with my new Nikon. I was kind of bummed to find out that the bridge is undergoing restoration, so some of the more spectacular views of Manhattan and the river were blocked by these long stretch of steel panels. As it turns out, like in the picture above, those provided an interesting new perspective to my little trek and I was able to go on and take some pretty cool shots.
This week, I’m going to hike across the Queensborough Bridge (it’ll never be the Ed Koch Bridge to me, sorry) with my camera to compare views. In the meantime, check out these Brooklyn Bridge shots. As always, prints of my photographs are available in customizable sizes, so if you’d like one, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Train & the Cloud 11″x14″ Giclee on photographique paper. $75.00
Today, I’m mailing off giclee prints that one of my patrons ordered recently. I tried something a little new; adding a two inch border to really draw attention to the subject matter on 11×14 inch paper. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out and can’t wait for them to go out!
Lenox Lounge 11″x14″ Giclee on photographique paper. $75.00
Look Upon 11″x14″ Giclee on photographique paper. $75.00
If you’re interested in ordering a print of my work, please feel free to email at email@example.com.