The New York Times published one of my photographs this week. I took the picture in Central Park at 1 a.m, just as a snowstorm had begun to blanket the City, offering a rare opportunity to capture the Park void of people, and with the snow untouched. The image, which appears below, was published the next day in the City Room blog: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/13/central-park-wednesday-1-a-m/
I like New York most when it rains. Maybe it is because, as a photographer, the rain adds a dynamic element to my imagery. I like how lights reflect off the pavement, how water droplets clutch to windows high above the avenues, how umbrellas dodge quietly through the night, making the anonymous passerby even more so.
But mostly, I enjoy the rain because it evokes a sense of shared experience in a city where little else is shared. The rain we cannot escape. We are all forced to cope. We become vulnerable, slightly more vulnerable, than when it is just the city itself we must confront. It is this shared experience, minimal as it may be, that brings each of our distinct lives somewhat closer together, if only for a night.
This week, I became a collector of photography after I came across the work of Dennis Cordell on Flickr. Dennis posted a portrait of a Tibetan Monk which he made in Bodhgaya, India. I studied Dennis's work and was struck by the many extraordinary portraits he has made of Tibetan refugees. His photographs capture the radiance, kindness and candor of his subjects, who he says are often flattered to be photographed. And his technique, he explained, is quite simple. He shoots with a Hasselblad camera and pushes Tri-X film, then scans the negatives and prints digitally.
You may not have heard of Dennis Cordell just yet, but that is only because he has not shown his work very much. I hope he does, because his images are a beautiful blend of history, documentation, and fine-art.
Please view the work of Dennis Cordell on Flickr.