Photographing from the train

October 31, 2010 § 1 Comment

On my way to New York with a friend for a day of enjoying photography. First PhotoExpo at the Javits Center. A massive room, filled with booths displaying all the latest photo gear. And packed! Thousands of people jamming the aisles. Happily, I was quite serene. I like the cameras I have, and didn’t need to feverishly pepper the Nikon and Olympus reps with questions.

Then on to Pace-McGill in midtown to see “Archaeology,” a show of Irving Penn’s platinum still lifes. I saw this work in New York when it was first shown in the 80s, and I still find it intense and interesting.

And we finished the day at the International Center for Photography with a show called “The Mexican Suitcase,” photos from the Spanish Civil War by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and David Seymour. The negatives were thought to have been lost in the chaos of the war, although they were often rumored to be in a suitcase somewhere in Mexico. A couple of years ago, they turned up in Brazil, quite an astonishing moment in the history of photography.

My photos are from the train ride into the city. I was experimenting with the high-contrast black and white setting on my camera. It was in many ways a perfect East Coast day. A bit somber, with an overcast sky that made everything seem very serious. And life’s own contrasts were in sharp evidence . . . the environments seen here from the train window juxtaposed with the cool, silent gallery on 57th street, displaying immaculately beautiful photographs with a selling price of $70,000.

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