Jump to content

Garment District, NYC


trickness
 Share

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

SL2, Summaron M 28mm 5.6

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Corner Boss, SL2 w/28mm 5.6 Summaron M

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

SL2 w/28mm 5.6 Summaron M (yep, it flares when you shoot into the sun!)

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, KFo said:

So in a less terse and hopefully constructive way...

I personally have never found any satisfaction in photographing the downtrodden.  I'm wondering what you find interesting in the subject?

Thanks for changing the tone of your question. 

I am photographing the people of a neighborhood in NYC at this particular time in history. This neighborhood is filled with characters of all types, different social and financial status, race, creed, color, religion, sexual orientation, criminals, mentally ill. If you look at this entire thread and all the images I've posted, the images you're apparently uncomfortable with make up maybe 25% of what I've posted.

So that 25%? It SHOULD make you uncomfortable looking at them. It makes me uncomfortable - but it also lightens my heart at times.  I engage and interact with many of the people I photograph, while 99% of the world walks by and acts like they don't even exist. And yet some of the same people who ignore these folks get filled with righteous indignation at the thought that someone might photograph the "downtrodden". In large part these people are ignored, but they are part of this neighborhood and my city too. By spending time with them I feel it makes me a more complete and empathetic human being. In any case when this neighborhood is ultimately gentrified and swept away like every other interesting neighborhood in NYC to be replaced with glittering towers for the rich, I'll have a photographic record - something I wished I had done for so many other neighborhoods in NYC whose flavor has since been erased. I haven't chosen to explain any of this in text with these photos because I think explanations are at best unnecessary and at worst, pretentious. But there you go.

There are endless .095 pictures of people's dogs, beer glasses, and parking cones on this forum. There are endless street photography images of the backs of people's heads. I wonder "what is the purpose of these images?" but I guess I don't think it polite to question the work of other photographers here beyond my own thoughts.

 

 

 

 

Edited by trickness
Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I see: your goal is a historical record of the times there.  I get it.  

I don't know that explaining every photo would enrich the viewers experience, but your expository statement is helpful to me.  Intent matters.  I don't think providing it is pretentious at all.  As artists, our intent is important and sharing that is helpful.

My comfort as a viewer isn't really why I brought this up.  There are lots of images that are uncomfortable to view but that is on the viewer not the artist.  The image can be uncomfortable yet at the same time have an underlying empathy, Mary Ellen Mark's work is a good example of this. At some point a line is crossed into pure voyeurism, spectacle, rather than witness or artist.  The photo that made me ask is the guy with food in his goatee in front of the PETA poster.  It's a good strong image, a statement of our times no doubt.  But I wondered if this guy would actually want to be in this image and whether his consent even matters if there is a higher artistic purpose.

Like you, I browse this forum (not often) and see many cowardly, voyeuristic, photos of the backs of heads, homeless laying on the sidewalk etc.  I decided to ask the question here, sorry for the initial terse version, because I am tired of those photos.  I can see you are skilled and a have a vision, a style, and good photos so I thought you might have a reason.  Thanks for being open and sharing that reason.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 12/12/2021 at 5:44 AM, KFo said:

I see: your goal is a historical record of the times there.  I get it.  

I don't know that explaining every photo would enrich the viewers experience, but your expository statement is helpful to me.  Intent matters.  I don't think providing it is pretentious at all.  As artists, our intent is important and sharing that is helpful.

My comfort as a viewer isn't really why I brought this up.  There are lots of images that are uncomfortable to view but that is on the viewer not the artist.  The image can be uncomfortable yet at the same time have an underlying empathy, Mary Ellen Mark's work is a good example of this. At some point a line is crossed into pure voyeurism, spectacle, rather than witness or artist.  The photo that made me ask is the guy with food in his goatee in front of the PETA poster.  It's a good strong image, a statement of our times no doubt.  But I wondered if this guy would actually want to be in this image and whether his consent even matters if there is a higher artistic purpose.

Like you, I browse this forum (not often) and see many cowardly, voyeuristic, photos of the backs of heads, homeless laying on the sidewalk etc.  I decided to ask the question here, sorry for the initial terse version, because I am tired of those photos.  I can see you are skilled and a have a vision, a style, and good photos so I thought you might have a reason.  Thanks for being open and sharing that reason.

 

The guy with the food in his goatee was standing on a corner singing and calling out and engaging with me. If you look at the photograph there is the faintest hint of a smile and surprise, which I think is largely due to the fact that somebody was finally paying attention to him, that somebody being me. I did think that the juxtaposition of his appearance and the images on the posters was interesting. People in New York City have no problem telling you when they don’t want to be in a photograph, and in these cases I will almost always delete an image if I have taken one.

But are you really suggesting that we should only be taking pictures of people if they are happy to be in them? Do you think all the people in Weegee’s photographs lying dead on the floor or in an alleyway with a bunch of cops standing around are looking down from the afterlife and saying “wow, that’s a great shot of me”? Was his intent solely to document a crime scene, or was there some kind of artistic element that could be interpreted as voyeurism by some people? There are lots of Weegee books for sale in museums and you can even buy some T-shirts with the images on them. Do we want to go ask the descendants of the people dead in these photographs how they feel about all that?

Should we go back in time to all the historical photographs of tramps and transient people taken by all the street photographers and assess whether or not they are voyeuristic? Do we need to have some seal of approval on the back of each photograph that explains the intent of the photographer and under which circumstances the image was taken?

If we applied this policy to let’s say Bruce Gilden‘s work, we’d have to throw away probably 50% of his images. There has got to be some middle ground between exploitative photography and the pinnacle of humanistic documentary. I’m documenting a neighborhood and the variety of people in it, but I am well aware that I am not Sebastio Selgado. Of course you are not seeing the literally hundreds of images I have not taken of those people Who were in such desperate condition that I felt it inappropriate to do so. And of course there are the thousands of people who I chose not to photograph simply because they did not look interesting or have an energy that attracted me.

What if we were to turn the telescope around, and I took pictures in this neighborhood of only the best looking most fashionable, well-to-do people. Would that not be offensive in that the work ignored what the neighborhood was really like, would it not be an offense to only take photographs of the shiny happy people, like the world was somehow a Disneyland and everyone who didn’t fit into that squeaky clean box was kept out of the photographs, wouldn’t that be entirely clueless and insensitive as well?

In terms of intent, and questioning what peoples intent is: do you really wanna be that guy? Do you want to be the person who looks at everybody’s work and makes them rationalize why they take a photograph? Do you want to write the rulebook that everybody has to follow in order for the work to be valid or appropriate? I for sure don’t want to be that guy, and I really don’t want to see what the world looks like on the other end of that filter. There is a whole lot of art in the world and I for one don’t need it explained or rationalized. I take it for what it is, understanding that I am viewing it through whatever filters I have in my own mind and in my own taste. And I would never in 1 million years think that I had the knowledge or right to define for anybody else whether their art is “appropriate”. There has been far too much work over the centuries that was dismissed or reviled or persecuted at the time that was reassessed later and suddenly called genius by everybody, even after the artist was maybe burned at the stake. I don’t wanna be on the stake, but I certainly don’t want to be one of the people tying the artist to the stake either.

I don’t think my pictures are on the artistic level of any of the people I am referring to generally above. I’m just taking pictures of this neighborhood and everybody in it at this particular time. It’s not the only thing I do and it’s not the only thing I’ve done. I have some technical ability and I appreciate that you have recognized it….. honestly I think a better approach than asking people the questions that you are posing here is to focus on your own work, create a gallery of what you do on an ongoing basis, and have that alone be your counterpoint. Unless of course somebody asks for an opinion on their work, then I think it’s important to be forthcoming.

I looked at your website and I think our approach and photographs are very different. And isn’t that a beautiful thing.

Edited by trickness
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 12/13/2021 at 4:19 PM, trickness said:

The guy with the food in his goatee was standing on a corner singing and calling out and engaging with me. If you look at the photograph there is the faintest hint of a smile and surprise, which I think is largely due to the fact that somebody was finally paying attention to him, that somebody being me. I did think that the juxtaposition of his appearance and the images on the posters was interesting. People in New York City have no problem telling you when they don’t want to be in a photograph, and in these cases I will almost always delete an image if I have taken one.

But are you really suggesting that we should only be taking pictures of people if they are happy to be in them? Do you think all the people in Weegee’s photographs lying dead on the floor or in an alleyway with a bunch of cops standing around are looking down from the afterlife and saying “wow, that’s a great shot of me”? Was his intent solely to document a crime scene, or was there some kind of artistic element that could be interpreted as voyeurism by some people? There are lots of Weegee books for sale in museums and you can even buy some T-shirts with the images on them. Do we want to go ask the descendants of the people dead in these photographs how they feel about all that?

Should we go back in time to all the historical photographs of tramps and transient people taken by all the street photographers and assess whether or not they are voyeuristic? Do we need to have some seal of approval on the back of each photograph that explains the intent of the photographer and under which circumstances the image was taken?

If we applied this policy to let’s say Bruce Gilden‘s work, we’d have to throw away probably 50% of his images. There has got to be some middle ground between exploitative photography and the pinnacle of humanistic documentary. I’m documenting a neighborhood and the variety of people in it, but I am well aware that I am not Sebastio Selgado. Of course you are not seeing the literally hundreds of images I have not taken of those people Who were in such desperate condition that I felt it inappropriate to do so. And of course there are the thousands of people who I chose not to photograph simply because they did not look interesting or have an energy that attracted me.

What if we were to turn the telescope around, and I took pictures in this neighborhood of only the best looking most fashionable, well-to-do people. Would that not be offensive in that the work ignored what the neighborhood was really like, would it not be an offense to only take photographs of the shiny happy people, like the world was somehow a Disneyland and everyone who didn’t fit into that squeaky clean box was kept out of the photographs, wouldn’t that be entirely clueless and insensitive as well?

In terms of intent, and questioning what peoples intent is: do you really wanna be that guy? Do you want to be the person who looks at everybody’s work and makes them rationalize why they take a photograph? Do you want to write the rulebook that everybody has to follow in order for the work to be valid or appropriate? I for sure don’t want to be that guy, and I really don’t want to see what the world looks like on the other end of that filter. There is a whole lot of art in the world and I for one don’t need it explained or rationalized. I take it for what it is, understanding that I am viewing it through whatever filters I have in my own mind and in my own taste. And I would never in 1 million years think that I had the knowledge or right to define for anybody else whether their art is “appropriate”. There has been far too much work over the centuries that was dismissed or reviled or persecuted at the time that was reassessed later and suddenly called genius by everybody, even after the artist was maybe burned at the stake. I don’t wanna be on the stake, but I certainly don’t want to be one of the people tying the artist to the stake either.

I don’t think my pictures are on the artistic level of any of the people I am referring to generally above. I’m just taking pictures of this neighborhood and everybody in it at this particular time. It’s not the only thing I do and it’s not the only thing I’ve done. I have some technical ability and I appreciate that you have recognized it….. honestly I think a better approach than asking people the questions that you are posing here is to focus on your own work, create a gallery of what you do on an ongoing basis, and have that alone be your counterpoint. Unless of course somebody asks for an opinion on their work, then I think it’s important to be forthcoming.

I looked at your website and I think our approach and photographs are very different. And isn’t that a beautiful thing.

I’m not suggesting that you only photograph people that are happy to be in a photo.  You missed the part where I said
          “…wondered if this guy would actually want to be in this image and whether his consent even matters…”

Your intent is what matters.  “I’m photographing you for a Trump campaign ad.” INTENT.  “This photo is for an AOC flyer.” INTENT.  A simple example from my real life:

           I used to know a guy that bought a Canon AE-1 and a tele lens.  He’d spend his spare time photography women's *sses surreptitiously.  I remember him showing me some images.  I asked him “what is this all about?”. He said he likes women's *sses.  Even then back in the dark ages of the 80s I could see that he was objectifying these people.  Do you see that?  Is it art?  What is it?

It’s a free country, that guy can do whatever he pleases more or less.  But the idea that the viewer has no intellect and capacity to question what is shown is naive.

So my message to you is: your intent in this thread was uneven in my perception.  You have strong images of all kinds of people along side a few images of people that have that thousand mile stare that tells you they probably aren’t all there.  Are they symbols or objects?  Before your last ramble, I had decided that they were symbols.  I raised the question, and I will not apologize nor will I go back to my cave.

It might interesting to tell garment district story from the prospective of the well heeled, well todo.  It’s the same story told from a different angle. Maybe I’ll fly there, rent a flat and do it just to annoy you :)

BTW, I never said “appropriate.”    

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, KFo said:

I’m not suggesting that you only photograph people that are happy to be in a photo.  You missed the part where I said
          “…wondered if this guy would actually want to be in this image and whether his consent even matters…”

Your intent is what matters.  “I’m photographing you for a Trump campaign ad.” INTENT.  “This photo is for an AOC flyer.” INTENT.  A simple example from my real life:

           I used to know a guy that bought a Canon AE-1 and a tele lens.  He’d spend his spare time photography women's *sses surreptitiously.  I remember him showing me some images.  I asked him “what is this all about?”. He said he likes women's *sses.  Even then back in the dark ages of the 80s I could see that he was objectifying these people.  Do you see that?  Is it art?  What is it?

It’s a free country, that guy can do whatever he pleases more or less.  But the idea that the viewer has no intellect and capacity to question what is shown is naive.

So my message to you is: your intent in this thread was uneven in my perception.  You have strong images of all kinds of people along side a few images of people that have that thousand mile stare that tells you they probably aren’t all there.  Are they symbols or objects?  Before your last ramble, I had decided that they were symbols.  I raised the question, and I will not apologize nor will I go back to my cave.

It might interesting to tell garment district story from the prospective of the well heeled, well todo.  It’s the same story told from a different angle. Maybe I’ll fly there, rent a flat and do it just to annoy you :)

BTW, I never said “appropriate.”    

Ok - but I didn’t ask for your opinion or your judgment and I think it’s extremely rude to come in and piss on my thread and my work with your opinions, but hey, that’s the Internet - it makes people feel empowered to make judgments or criticisms that they wouldn’t have the balls to make in person. And they do so really without having any concept of whether or not their abilities or work entitles them to say anything about anybody else’s output.

I have looked at your website link and the photographs there. I know it’s way easier to come onto Internet forums and gob off than to put the work in every day and go out on the streets and try to improve, but you really should focus on YOUR work.

 


 

 

Edited by trickness
Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, KFo said:

Your intent is what matters.

Piffle.

There are lots of images that make us uncomfortable. Personally speaking, most of what's posted in the "People" forum here makes me cringe. Knowing the photographer's intent in those cases doesn't help... a bad photo is still a bad photo.

But, let's turn this around. KFo, what was your intent in voicing discomfort publicly rather than in a private message?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Q2M, today

 

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Q2M, today

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Q2M, today

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Q2M, today

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Q2M, today

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Q2M, today

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The garment district, some call it the fashion district has already changed drastically, the industry in NY has declined considerably.  It was a much larger area in years back, in fact new building projects try to associate with the chelsea neighborhood vs the garment district. I think of as a commercial neighborhood. 

i will add , if you need a good button man I know of one there, reach out if you need him. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 12/14/2021 at 1:07 PM, trickness said:

Ok - but I didn’t ask for your opinion or your judgment and I think it’s extremely rude to come in and piss on my thread and my work with your opinions, but hey, that’s the Internet - it makes people feel empowered to make judgments or criticisms that they wouldn’t have the balls to make in person. And they do so really without having any concept of whether or not their abilities or work entitles them to say anything about anybody else’s output.

I have looked at your website link and the photographs there. I know it’s way easier to come onto Internet forums and gob off than to put the work in every day and go out on the streets and try to improve, but you really should focus on YOUR work.

@trickness  Well said - I could not agree more.

As for your images - you are doing some great work.  Ignore the those who judge when they have no place to do so. 

Ignore the complainers and the backbiters.  Keep doing the work you are driven to do.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Herr Barnack said:

@trickness  Well said - I could not agree more.

As for your images - you are doing some great work.  Ignore the those who judge when they have no place to do so. 

Ignore the complainers and the backbiters.  Keep doing the work you are driven to do.

 

Herr Barnack - sincere thanks for your kind words. We are all striving to improve, it is a process that never ends. Encouragement from peers is sustenance for the journey. My best regards to you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...