18 December 2008

The Bus Stop

I've always had a fascination with skateboards, and have ridden them since I convinced my parents to get me one at K-Mart when I was about nine. I was first attracted to this young man because he was standing on a skateboard as he waited for the bus, and he seemed proud of it. We talked a little about skateboarding and I took one or two shots from further back, of him and the board, but some intuition told me to get closer for a more intimate picture. As I did, I think my proximity and close focus were a little much for him and he turned away slightly, still standing on the board. In that moment he showed some combination of bravery and vulnerability. I think it's this mix that often gives portraiture its power.

29 November 2008


It was early- before 8am- and cold. These guys' workshop was wide open. They let me in to check out their work, but there wasn't nearly enough light inside to shoot. This guy, William, was happy to step out into the morning light for a portrait. The other guy wasn't interested, but I love that his faint figure is back there in the shadows.

24 August 2008

Dogs and Dog Tags

When I'm looking at a portrait, I almost always want to see eyes and a face, so I try to make portraits that way. But when I was talking to this man in Coffey Park, and photographing him and his dogs, an interesting switch happened. He was facing me, but turned his head away, and his dog that was facing away turned her head back towards the camera, asserting herself as the main subject of the portrait.

I think he said that she was the mother of one or maybe both of the other snarling dogs- who I guess couldn't care less about being photographed.

23 August 2008

Covered Car

I did some internet research and as far as I can tell, this is a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain. The plates say Bolivia, but somehow it got tucked away in an old lot in the corner of Red Hook.

20 August 2008

Woman with Bag

I met this woman while she was waiting for the bus, and when I asked her if I could take her portrait she held her pose with uncanny focus and stillness. When I got the film back I kicked myself for not including her whole bag in the frame, but as I've spent time with the image I've come to like just seeing the little handles that pick up the blue of her shirt.

19 August 2008

Boys Before School

I met and photographed these boys a block from my apartment, early on a February morning. It was one of my first trips out in my neighborhood shooting this square format film, and this image helped convince me to stick with the project. The photo was included in the exhibition Click at the Brooklyn Museum and someone commented that the boys reminded him of a young Al Capone, who apparently also smoked stogies on the streets of Red Hook. A friend said the one on the left reminded her of Jay-Z. Another said it was the saddest picture in the exhibit. Another said he sees these boys everywhere, but I've been keeping an eye out for them when I'm walking in the neighborhood and I haven't seen them again.

26 June 2008

New Man Dog (First Post)

This blog is a way to show and write about my ongoing photographic project documenting the neighborhood where I live. It's about the people the streets and the light, and why I'm in love with them. Lots is being written and discussed about how Red Hook is changing. I love change, but I think this project is more about what's not changing, or about what's changing more slowly and going unnoticed.