Photo of the Week: No Exit

Trapped in a metal box, thoughts circle my mind -
bouncing and echoing against the inside of my skull.
There was nothing we could do.
She couldn't be saved.
It's not my fault.
But I can't help feeling responsible.

The loop starts again.

There was nothing we could do.
She couldn't be saved.
It's not my fault.
But I can't help feeling responsible.

There is no escape.
There is not exit.

Over the past few weeks I've made an effort to carry my camera with me and shoot photos to accompany my Subway Writings . The silent shooting mode on the A7S paired with a telephoto macro lens allows me to capture moments in a stealthy manner without disrupting the moment. The sharpness of the Canon 100mm Macro L lens also helps me compensate for the clarity loss that can be caused by shooting through dirty or foggy glass.

Why Do I love This Photo?

The expression of deep thought on the mans' face coupled with the No Exit signs add an extra inner turmoil to the moment. While shooting street photography, conceptualizing the shot can take a backseat to pure documentation; however, I took my time with this moment. The frame immediately struck me and I knew where all the heavy visuals needed to exist in frame to capture the feeling of a heavy burden. I loved this photo before the shutter was ever activated.

Dodging the Conventional

After a late Sunday night shift and drinks with a coworker, I decided to break my normal routine. Typically, I would head straight home, conceding to the feeling that I need to rush home and roll into bed. I wasn't tired, so I decided to walk. I pulled out my camera and basked in the night glow of midtown Manhattan. The streets were empty and the air was filled with an unfamiliar silence. Silence that you'd imagine was impossible to find in New York City. I kept walking past 42nd. Past 34th. Past 23rd.

The city feels different without it's human pulse. 1:30 in the morning, I begin nearing West fourth. A small 24 hour bodega lights the dim street in front of me. A man leans against the wall next the forever open shop, swiping through the internet. I approach and take a quick photo of the corner store. As I walk past, the man quickly removes himself from the wall. I can see him from the corner of my eye. His pace quickens. So does mine. His presence is heavy as he attempts to close the space between us. I dip around the corner and quickly descend to the subway. My heart races. I turn round to see my tail stopped at the edge of the stairs. 
 

Sketchy Nonsense: A New Perspective on Raw Expression

Sketching in a notepad is an extremely raw form of expression for me. I rarely start with an idea or concept when I turn to a new page. I put the pen down and allow the brain to move my hand as it pleases. The results are usually surprising. In many cases, I can track back influence, but never a reason or motive. These photos are my first attempts to meld my photos and sketches. I started by opening my notebook and finding a few of my favorite pieces. Some were seemingly more complete than others, but a piece is never truly finished - just abandoned.

Once a few pages were chosen, I set up a camera and some lights, and set forth to add another perspective to my raw expression. 

The photos were created with a single light source, reflector, and in some cases, a prism to help combine multiple sketches into a single exposure. Raw files were processed using lightroom.

NYC in 35: February & March

NYC in 35: February & March

The first post in a series of photographs capturing my New York on 35mm.

I am making an effort to shoot 1-2 rolls of film every couple months and give each their own home in my Daily Ramble. Each photo is accompanied by a short description, embodying some insight on the capturing process.

This post consists of a half roll of Kodak Porta 160 left over from my trip to Sri Lanka. Each photograph was lightly processed digitally in Lightroom.

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Self Portrait Project: Neon Lights

Keeping myself in a creative mindset can be a difficult task with the bevy of distractions life can throw my way. As an attempt to keep creative thoughts percolating in the back of my mind, I have taken on the tall task of dedicating a few hours of my time to all my preferred mediums every week. This post is dedicated to my first self portrait session. I set out to experiment with some colored gels. Below are a few of my favorite photos from the thirty minute shoot.

The majority of the photos were created using two lite-panel LED Fresnels. One light was placed just behind my right shoulder with a green gel, acting as both a backlight and fill. A second LED fresnel affixed with a magenta gel,  was positioned about forty-five degrees to my left and bounced off a small reflector to achieve a soft light.. The magenta light source acted as my key light in most of the photographs. Several of the photos with motion blur (achieved with a slow shutter speed) were created using a speedlight as my key, bounced of a wall and triggered on second curtain.

There is a large room for improvement, but the results are encouraging. In the end, these exercises are meant to add more tools to my creative arsenal. We are off to a good start.

Walking Manhattan: Midtown with the Canon 100 macro

I love walking the streets of New York City. It is one of the easiest ways to escape my inner monologue and tap into the amazing happenings that transpire in Manhattan everyday. During my walks, I always attempt to limit myself and work within the confines of a single focal length or shooting style. For this particular walk through midtown, I brought my Canon T3i and my Canon 100mm macro lens. Most street photographers prefer a wider lens with a field of view closer to the human eye (35mm or 50mm), but I'm learning that a longer focal length suits my shooting style best. It allows me to keep distance from subjects, resulting in more natural expressions.

The 100mm L is also one of the few lenses that allows me capture stunningly sharp portraits while also having the ability to display all the wonderfully gritty Manhattan textures that can only truly be appreciated up close. The photos below were the remnants of a few subway advertisements. 

The earth tones and lovely contrast screamed for attention. I stood for a moment appreciating this overlooked beauty, then honed in on the attributes that drew my eye. Other occupied commuters looked on with confusion as I admired the work of father time. We're surrounded by remarkable sights every day, but often too busy to slow down and soak them in.