As the cars sped by on both sides of the concrete divider. I couldn’t help but think back to my earliest days on the Bowery standing just outside of CBGB’s. That short, yet treacherous dash from the curb of CBGB’S to the Bodega across the street was almost as risky as jumping in to a pit of raging fists occupying the real estate in front of the clubs stage. And just as I witnessed many enthusiastic participants knocked to the clubs floor. The number of pedestrians who never made it all the way across were enough to make one question how important that cold beverage really was.
Yet just as i left the nights event a few blocks south of my original haunt. I found myself setting up my tripod on that narrow slither of concrete known to many as a pedestrian divider. Having just recently been properly introduced to shooting long exposures. I was more than inspired to take what I’d learned to the busy streets of lower Manhattan.Crouching down, I quickly assembled my tripod and set it on manual. Waiting for the lens to close and complete the shot. I could feel the wind from the passing automobiles pushing me off my already unbalanced heels. Lucky for me. One shot, the one you see here, was all I needed. Using the little brains I seem to have left. I moved back to the sidewalk and on to Houston street to capture a few more shots before I headed home.
Early this Tuesday night I braved the hurricane winds and torrential rains to attend the International Center For Photography’s Open House to look into some classes and have my portfolio reviewed. As I sat nervously with the soft spoken elderly gentleman, he critiqued my work. Noting that my lighting was impressive and that certain areas could use improvement. He suggested some techniques and approved me for some classes.
As I stood up to leave I thanked him, shook his hand and handed him one my business cards. That’s when things got really interesting, animated and a hell of a lot more exciting. The soft spoken gentlemen I had been conversing with for the last thirty minutes arched his back and exhaled “What is this here?” as he pulled his glasses forward for closer investigation. In a cool voice often reserved for Jazz cools you see in old movies, he remarked “Now this is what your portfolio should be based around.” “This is what I like to see.” I had gone to such lengths and examination of fashion and glamour to create a portfolio I felt best represented fashion and what I was seeing in magazines. I may have gotten away from making a portfolio that best represents me as a photographer.
Though I was already more than happy with his critique of my portfolio. (Yes, I was actually very happy to have a professional critique my work and perhaps, take me down a few notches.) But if I would compare the differences in his reaction with a music reference. It was like going from listening to Miles Davis recording to getting a chance to sit in on one of his recording sessions. I showed him my other business cards, all of which have different images and he picked out what he strongly felt were the best. Then he took the paper that included the class level he pre-approved me for crossed it out to qualify me for more advanced courses. From there I went to the office and registered for “The Art of Fashion Portraiture” which is a hands on course starting in December. I’m really looking forward to the class and getting my work out there again.