TITLE: Times Square Nocturne
I am an analog street photographer who enjoys shooting after dark in New York City’s Times Square. For many, the name conjures up images of gawkers and hustlers, an anonymous, crushing mob. But there are intimate moments to be found in the zany, edgy, anything-goes atmosphere. This place was made for the night, with its gaudy neon and thrill-seeking crowds, when those moments seem more insular and special. And Times Square at night was made for black and white film, grainy and gritty like the location itself.
In “Times Square Nocturne,” a black preacher reads aloud from the Bible, ignoring the din from performers in kitten costumes. A young woman naps on a public couch amid Broadway’s noise. A lone believer with a homemade sign wades into the crush, urging a change of heart. As people around them stand zombie-like, riveted on some distant point, a couple huddles to check their selfie. A man and woman look thunderstruck by the chaos, with expressions reflecting the message on a looming billboard, while a homeless woman seems to have food on her mind as she passes a waffle vendor. As if taking a hint from a sign, a couple shelters from the crowd to get their bearings, and a sax player belts out a riff to entertain a woman while she looks for a taxi.
I hope “Times Square Nocturne” will give viewers a more personal, nuanced view of the Crossroads of the World.
AUTHOR: Jim Lustenader (United States)
"What I like most about photography is the moment that you can't anticipate." Martine Franck
Street photography has a special cinematic character, combining photojournalism, documentary and pure surprise. Spontaneity, immediacy, empathy and luck: all are part of capturing human nature in action. But to me what makes a street photo truly special is visual tension, even a measure of incongruity.
Tension lends intimacy and depth, inviting viewers to pause and connect according to each person’s unique perspective and experience; it offers a glimpse of intention while providing opportunity for imagination.
I focus on moments that evoke the humor, beauty, irony or absurdity of being human. People's expressions, dress, body language and relationships to surroundings are some of what I look for to create a story line that resonates. And catching those unguarded bits of theatrical business is where the fun is.
I shoot black and white film and use a minimal kit: Contax G2 rangefinder with Zeiss 28mm and 45mm, or Contax T3 with Zeiss 35mm.
Publications: Black & White; Don't Take Pictures.
Solo exhibitions: Soho Photo Gallery of NYC; Griffin Museum of Photography; Umbrella Arts; In An Instant Gallery; Dartmouth College.
Gallery representation: Soho Photo Gallery; TheCommotion.ca, (limited edition prints)
Juried group exhibitions: Over fifty, including MonoVisions; Soho Gallery; Salmagundi Art Club; Your Daily Photograph; Spider Awards; APA National; The Photo Review; Center for Fine Art Photography; Analog Film Photography Assoc.; New York Center for Photographic Art; Black Box Gallery; WPGA Pollux ("Photographer of the Year"), Charles Dodgson and Jacob Riis Awards; Texas National Art Competition; Camera USA; Boca Raton Museum.
Permanent collections: Three photos in the Municipal Museum of Malaga, Spain.
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