Here in Paris, the cool autumn weather has finally arrived.
Out of pure self-indulgence, I will entertain you with a personal flashback. Today, it’s more a question of how to appreciate a place and a situation than it is about photographic equipment or pure technique.
That’s why it seemed necessary to specify once again the importance I attribute to discretion. So on the one hand you don’t draw curious glances or bump into people present on the location where you’re shooting, and on the other hand to preserve the authenticity of the shots, you’ll want to leave behind those tripods, which are too obvious and too burdensome. To make up for weak lighting, I would of course recommend fixed focal distance and stabilized lens such as the Tamron 24-70 for the close-up work and moving through the crowd. When the situation allows for it, you can capture the dynamic movements of people passing by and the movement of vehicles using a compact monopod. The products in Manfrotto’s new line are very light and can be folded back up quickly, so you can take advantage of longer pauses, so you’ll have yet another tool at your disposal taking photographs in the urban jungle.
Follow me today, in January 2014.
I’ll take you to one of the worst neighborhoods back in the 20th century, which has become one of the world’s urban and artistic creative hotbeds. Welcome to Brooklyn.
Of course you know about the bridges, the red bricks, and the legends of rap and baseball. For this excursion, I went to seek out other perspectives. On this day, I was going to wear out my umpteenth pair of Chuck Taylors (my favorite photographic tool) out on the hippest streets of the East Coast, which are also a controversial example of gentrification and the cradle of modern “hipsters”.
This area, including Bushwick and Williamsburg, is often criticized by a number of international celebrities and “haters”. Beards and flannel shirts aren’t just for lumberjacks anymore…
It is true that changes in standard of living are surprising, and I can imagine that many people are being left far behind. Nevertheless, I would like to think that a majority of the longstanding residents have been able to take advantage of the peace that has returned to the streets, the improvement of the city’s infrastructure, and the growth in the local economy.
Through this series, I wanted to show the “normality” of these New Yorkers.
They work, they lounge, they flirt, and they fight the rat race just like people everywhere. My solitary vision of city life finds its expression here. Isolation is still a possibility before it becomes an eventuality.
I reside in Paris where I observe the same types of phenomena around Stasbourg-Saint Denis, with a much higher population density.
Even where there are new populations who move into an area, I am certain that these neighborhoods maintain their unique identity.
As they carry on with the daily grind despite the excitement going on all around them, families take advantage of the renewed interest in the backdrop of their lives. One day maybe they will leave, either by choice or by necessity, or maybe they will eventually ride around on a fixie, out of curiosity or habit, or of course, they might decide to go for an organic diet, open up a franchise of some major chain, or perhaps they won’t change anything at all. This will in any case be a choice, whether a life choice or a reaction prompted by the natural evolution of these streets.