As someone who has become used to and comfortable with routine and set schedule. I have no problem admitting that I do not like surprises. So when my wife kept in me in the dark about an early morning excursion to Georgetown. I can honestly say, I became somewhat unnerved trying to guess what she had in mind. As we arrived at what was supposed to be our final destination. My wife looked as puzzled as I was. Luckily, we waited it out and after a couple of rights, a left and another right, we were able to tail a pick up truck long enough to get us to where we needed to be. Georgetown Steam turned out to be the perfect surprise, as we both share a passion for factories and industrial sites. We spent over an hour exploring the old factory, while sharing some memorable exchanges with some of the retired steam workers who happened to be volunteering that day. Maybe it’s time for me to trust my wife’s instincts and learn to enjoy those little surprises.
While it’s true that much of what I photograph and want to photograph can often be found on the “off-limits” section of the map. There are times when an opportunity presents itself and I’m left to freely explore and photograph the things that spark my imagination. Such was the case during a weekend trip to Hudson New York’s Basilica Farm & Flea. As if the areas architecture wasn’t enough to jump from the driver’s seat. Turning on to S. Front Street and historically eye-popping visuals. I knew the long drive to Hudson was about to produce many rewards. And while the Farm & Flea provided plenty of eye-catching merchandise. The adjacant train yard was, at least for me, the real thrill.
With all the traffic that builds up around our home. We’ve done a pretty good job in finding alternative routes, short and long cuts and series of detours that help us avoid the traffic nightmares that often accompany living so close to major bridges and tunnels. Depending on the time of day and of course, the season. You’re likely to witness some breathtaking sunsets and sunspaces. For me personally, it’s enough to pull over to the side of the road and reach for the camera in order to capture some of its natural beauty.Of course, my wife thinks I’m crazy. Luckily, I’ve been doing it long enough that she’s come to be expect it.
Though hard to imagine. In all my trips to Pennsylvania, I have never been to Bethlehem or Easton. Yet, thanks to a recent video from a band I never cared for. One that will remain nameless due to my waining respect for much of my wife’s taste in music, we set our sights on the area, its food and its long history. Once there, I found some really inspiring photo opportunities, a warm, welcoming community and a cafe that takes thirty plus minutes to serve a plate of eggs and toast. Then scowls at you when you ask for syrup. Below are a few favorites from our stop in at Bethlehem Steel. We’re both hoping to get as many weekend trips under our belt before the onset of the holiday madness.
It’s often I find a friend who not only shares my passion for documenting the off-limits. Even more of a rarity when one asks if they can come along. When that friend just happens to have worked with me in a studio environment. The urge to capture that beauty among the rubble is surely alluring, but then again. When will I have time to spend wandering with this friend. Why would I steal time from this perfect moment, only to turn it into something it was never intended to be? Realizing just that so quickly not only allowed me to enjoy her company. It served as a lesson in that I in order to become a better communicator. I need to become a better listener. I’m not there yet. Far from it, but knowing where I want to be heading just might get me there faster. The images I posted below will hopefully express my intention to include her while allowing her a sense of ambiguity.
I’m amazed by how little I promote my own work at the appropriate times. That said, I thought I’d urge you all to visit to enjoy and take in some of the amazing art currently on view at Canco Lofts in conjunction with Jersey Artist Tours and JCAST. Below is the 20X40 Canvas I have displayed as well as a link to JCAST and some artist bios. Work will be on display thoughout October. Come see what’s happening. JD
Just below are a couple of images featuring elevator shafts I photographed this past Sunday in Jersey City and Passaic. As you can probably tell. Both images were shot from below.
After a big plate of French Toast and six or so cups of coffee. I wanted nothing more than to go home and sit out the rest of the day. However, my wife’s fourth serving of “Are you sure that’s what you want to do?” I was assured that would not be the case. As per usual, I had to come up with a plan that would satisfy us both. I cried out, “Let’s get some ice cream in Newark!” and all of life’s questions were suddenly answered.
Now, being a married man for many years. I have learned that every question includes a boatload of follow-up questions. And as a husband. Every answer should be swift, yet well thought out. Answer a question incorrectly and you could wind up at a mall holding your wife’s purse while she tries on ten outfits. None of which she will actually buy. Knowing “Do you want to go to the mall?” or just as apocalyptic “Hey, do we need to pick up anything at Costco?” Answer correctly and you might find yourself thumbing through records at your favorite vinyl haunt. Or as in this particular days case, exploring uncharted territory while finding visually stimulating images to capture. For me personally, visually stimulating means factories, construction sites, industrial complexes and train yards.
A love and a practise I’ve loved since this curious 7-year-old first experienced while wandering through local construction sites, cemeteries and junk yards spread out through my Queens neighborhood. Til’ this day that sense of danger coupled with the voice in the back of my head that says “You know you’re not supposed to be here.” makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and my blood rush.While these excursions have nothing to do with any lack of respect for safety, personal property or authority. It definitely reinforces that old adage “No one owes you anything. If you want something. You have to take it.” That rush I get. The voice in the back of my head and the little hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. That’s my body telling me that my soul is still intact. That getting older doesn’t mean you’re getting old. At least not yet.
As much as I love my wife, family and small circle of friends. I find that when it comes to certain things. It’s best to go it alone. And as much as my wife inspires and supports my love of all of the different aspects of what I shoot. She is without a doubt “The worst case scenario’s” most vocal advocate. So much so that I’d sometimes leave certain excursions as well as elements of my work to my own special me time. For, after an hour or so of “What if we’re trespassing?” “Are you sure we can go here?” “What if we get a ticket?” or the best one of all “What if he kills one of us?” I’m ready to trade in my camera for a book on bird watching. While it’s often a good thing to have a second set of eyes. Sometimes the additional voice in you ear is enough to make you want to go it alone.