I’ve always been uncomfortable photographing people. But I’ve taken some inspiration from Chinese painting. If you contrast it with most Western art, you’ll find that the human place in it is muted, minimalized. In a Chinese painting, you have to search for the human presence amid the prevailing nature scene typically seen in this art. In Western painting and other arts, humans and their faces are front, center, and large. The Western masters of the Renaissance were painting “selfies” centuries ago. And if you turn on your TV, YouTube, TikTok, or whatever these days, you see the same thing: facials with nature perhaps as a vague background. It may be effective for certain purposes, but it rarely feels artistic to me. So I chose to shoot people in a perspective that gave them environmental context and the privacy of anonymity.
New York City
My home town for more years than I’d care to number in public. If you live in New York and have a decent camera, you will capture some unforgettable images, no matter your level of expertise with the device or training in photography. The great city is a living being that continually draws you further into its mysteries.