Monday, September 22, 2008
On my way to B&H on 9th Avenue I was walking past the post office garage and saw another man dressed in pastels. Even though it was a sunny day he was poised in the shade like a statue. He wore street clothes and either looked homeless or really hip. I could'nt tell how old he was. He was either young or mid forties; he had a timeless nature about him. The smooth color and his pose lent itself to a very well composed picture. As I walked away I kept telling myself to go back and ask him for a picture. I tried my best to forget him, but I couldn't.
I remember looking ahead of me on fifth avenue and glancing back...In less than a second I saw the perfect picture. As soon as I grabbed my camera I lost the vantage point and spent the next ten minutes trailing him trying to get another shot. He was a tall business man in a perfectly tailored dark green suit. From my vantage point on the curb I looked back at him crossing the street. His head was bowed and half covered up to his nose with a giant black umbrella. His long legs and giant umbrella combined with the high angle seemed to distort his figure. It would have been perfect in black and white but I was not quick enough. This was one of the moments that could never have been staged, and will never happen again.
On the same day I was walking south on Sixth Avenue and I saw another old man and what looked like his son standing next to him. The man was dressed in smooth pastels of blue, light red and green. He looked like a watercolor painting. He was standing next to what I assume to be his son - twenty-something, dressed in the twenty something style of jeans and a tee shirt. The generation gap was interesting but I would have liked to photograph the man by himself. The diffused light poured over his jacket and if I opened up really wide it would have been really nice. Oh well.
On the same day and almost five minutes later I was walking across the street towards seventh avenue when I spotted this man I noticed earlier. The soft wrinkles on his face seemed dominated by his thick rimmed glasses. The umbrella he was carrying tilted over his face and framed his face. I didn't take the picture because I was five feet away and didn't want to be overly aggressive in my shooting. I also didn't know about zone focusing then and would have had to manually focus wide open since I had 100 speed film. I now realize using 100 speed film on a dull rainy day isn't the smartest idea.
I was out during the rains of the recent tropical storm. There was an old woman walking along 8th avenue heading north. She had on a bright yellow raincoat and a matching umbrella. She had on a beanie hat with a thick horizontal brim which seemed to outline her old, rough features. Her eyes were dark sockets and she had a thin line of light pink lipstick on her pout lips. I took a few black and white shots of her back but the shot really deserved to be in color. I didn't have any on me. I really wanted to do a frontal shot of her but didn't want to ask. It felt odd. I don't think I will meet her again... maybe old ladies like that only come out in tropical storms.