BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography of New York by Dave Beckerman

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Month: May, 2008

What To Shoot

28 May, 2008 (19:38) | 2 comments

Did some shooting in Central Park today with the Mamiya 6, which I haven’t used in over a year. Same stuff — same park, but every time I’m there my mood is a little different. I think that if I were in a jailcell where nothing changed, I could figure out different ways to shoot it during a lifetime. I remember once actually trying to light the corner of my apartment, where the wall joins the ceiling. Both the walls and the ceiling are white. Just plasterboard, really. No texture. Nothing interesting at all. But where do you place the camera to photography a corner? What lens do you use? How do you light it? All of this depends on what you are feeling at the time. I remember reading once that Michaelangelo had said that he was able to see pictures in any wall that he looked at, if he wanted to. Hope it doesn’t come to that… Anyway, the woman who lives in the apartment above me just turned on the CD player again. She has been playing the same song, for over a year now. “I knew that you would…” Maybe she hears it differently each time she plays it. I don’t know.

What Was Selling

23 May, 2008 (19:35) | No comments

Well, of course I looked at all the shooting of the ducks etc. in Central Park and did find anything that I felt like printing. Maybe a few years from now I’ll look back on it and realize there’s something there. However, I did get one good print which I added to the site of the mother kissing her baby through railing on her way into the subway station. This is one of my better shots. Although I say I feel burnt out with all my shooting of people in NYC, these are still the shots that seem worth the most. They are also the most impossible shots to sell. First off, I don’t have model releases. Second, the average person (whatever that is) is drawn to what I’ll call the pretty stuff. The shot that has sold the most so far is ‘Promenade’ — the avenue of trees in Central Park. Don’t get me wrong — this is a beautiful, moody shot with these dark branches overhanging the walkway, and just a touch of humanity at the far end to give scale to it all. It was shot with the 4 x 5 camera and has great presence. But it is also, from the point of view of originality, not all that special. I’ve seen the same shot by other photographers.

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The other annoying thing, is that as some of you know who have been reading these journals, I’ve been working part-time as a programmer at an advertising firm. However, during the last month, that firm has been bought out by a giant holding company — and also, even previous to this buyout, there have been lots of cuts in IT staff, and I figure it is just a matter of time before they get around to cutting me. I can find another programming job pretty easily, but finding a part-time one will be hard. If I do get cut, I’m seriously considering living off my savings for a few months and doing the photography thing full time. That will probably bankrupt me completely. Stay tuned.