After a four hour visit from My Dad, Stepmom and their dog, my wife collapsed from sheer exhaustion. So with the sun setting and not much else going on. I decided to head out and capture some of the soft light of the early evening. As I walked up the ramp for 1 & 9 I became dizzied and disoriented by the intensity of the setting sun. Quickly, I found a spot the shaded my eyes as I patiently waited for the sun to perform it’s daily magic trick. In the end I spent about an hour up on that closed section and as the time passed, I began to feel more and more comfortable watching the cars speed by and the planes begin their final decent into Newark International. I’m so happy knowing I have this beautiful landscape as my very own, personal backyard. Stop by, pull up a chair and enjoy it with me.
I’ve been doing a lot of different work these days. Working to overcome my weaknesses while improving my strengths. For some time now I’ve been in love with photographing work that I guess could be described asindustrial landscape. Bridges,trains, factories, junk yards, power lines. You name it. Any time I’m driving home on the Turnpike or RT 1/9 I can’t help but want to pull over and admire the skylines stark beauty. As of late I’ve been putting aside time to go off road and explore areas like Newark, Kearney and the outlying areas. Often time stopping to walk around and shoot pictures as the tractor trailers, semis and delivery trucks rumble past. I know there are a lot of people who would go out of their way to avoid this kind of thing. I know a lot of people might find it downright ugly. But for me there is something peaceful about it.
As I was headed into Newark this afternoon I took a wrong turn and got a little sidetracked. I passed through the Ironbound section of Newark and onto a series of bridges, power lines and factories. I found a nice secluded place to park, got my camera and started shooting. Within A few minutes two Police SUV’s pulled up. (Business as usual) I knew why they were there. I just wasn’t sure how they got there so fast. One of the risks of taking the kind of pictures I often take is these areas are often considered off limits to pedestrians. Especially pedestrians with cameras. Needless to say I’m used to having to explain myself. Though security guards are often quick on the draw or to pull out the knight stick. Police are usually a lot nicer and just question you and get your information. In the past I tended to be a prick when I got pulled over which in turn invited hostility and prolonged detention. These days I’m a lot more mature and understand that it’s just par for the course. I know they have a job to do and I know that there are crazies out there that might have some sick plan to blow up said bridge or factory. These officers were totally cool. I explained what I was doing and even gave them a business card along with my drivers license. I even told them I understood their concern and that I was living in New York City during 9/11.After what seemed like a lengthy time he let me go on my way with a warning. Before I left I showed him the pictures I had taken which he seemed to like. I offered to erase the card but he said it was appreciated but not necessary. Not a terrible experience overall. Most of the time if you just act right and explain yourself people will be cool with you. I intend on taking more trips into the industrial areas to explore the opportunities and I am sure the law won’t be far behind.
Whenever I’m driving on 1 or 9, the New Jersey Turnpike or the Garden State Parkway I get the urge to pull over and take pictures of all the interesting things that I’m speeding past. The lights coming off the airport, the smoke billowing from the factories and industrial parks, the bridges and of course the power lines. I always think of taking the next exit ramp to explore and see what good stuff I can find. With my portrait sittings being almost non existent this week I decided to do just that. In the midst of getting some strange, dirty looks, yelled at, lost and pulled over by the fuzz. I got some cool shots. I brought my new monopod along with me which not only gives me a steady base for long exposures but makes people think twice about getting in my face. (Those things make for a wicked weapon when needed.) I also managed to get on a couple of roofs tonight at the perfect time. Enjoy, there’s more to come.