I took a walk around my neighborhood for about two hours yesterday and came home thinking about a meaning of walking related to photography. I developed a film, dusted off one of the books that I wasn’t able to finish in the past, waiting for the film to dry. Then I got the following paragraph:
Walking, ideally, is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though they were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord. Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them. It leaves us free to think without being wholly lost in our thoughts. I wasn’t sure whether I was too soon or too late for the purple lupine that can be so spectacular in these headlands, but milkmaids were growing on the shady side of the road on the way to the trail, and they recalled the hillsides of my childhood that first bloomed every year with an extravagance of these white flowers. Black butterflies fluttered around me, tossed along by wind and wings, and they called up another era of my past. Moving on foot seems to make it easier to move in time, the mind wanders from plans to recollections to observations.
I took this photograph on the same day I took a photo of the double rainbow a few seconds apart. I like this better than the double rainbow. I used 35mm Kodak UltraMax 400 film and developed/scanned it at home.
Today I ran into one of my photography heroes, Jay Maisel around Houston Street and Broadway in NYC.
As a daily routine, I was walking to shoot on the streets after work and noticed someone who looked very familiar to me. But I couldn’t figure out who it was, so I kept walking. All of sudden, it dawned on me that he might be Jay Maisel, my hero. So I approached him and asked if he is Jay Maisel. He said, “Yes”. Then I told him that I admired his work and had 3 books written by him, which you see above.
His books and photographs were so inspiring and influential to me when I started learning photography two years ago. His philosophy about photography is deeply rooted inside me.
I wanted to talk to him longer but the taxi he called arrived. Because he is now 86 years old and was barely able to move and walk, so I opened the taxi door for him and said goodbye. I am not sure if I am going to ever meet him again, but I am so glad that I had a chance to tell him how much he inspired me to be a better human being as well as a better photographer.
I had a short business trip to Los Angeles on June 13 to 14, 2017. I didn’t really have a chance to shoot on the streets except for about an hour-walk on the Venice beach on my first day. However, wherever I go, I always carry my camera and document whatever beautiful things I see around my surroundings. I picked some of the moments that I took and made a slideshow on YouTube. I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!!
I shot films for the first time in 15 years. My emotional reaction to outcomes was much stronger than I thought.
But I didn’t know how to describe my feelings. It didn’t dawned on me until I recalled one of the best episodes from TV series Mad Men.
In the season 1 finale, Don Draper who is a protagonist as well as a creative director at the ad firm Sterling Cooper pitches an ad campaign for carousel slide projectors to Eastman Kodak. Please take a look at the short video clip and script below:
Nostalgia – it’s delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, “nostalgia” literally means “the pain from an old wound.” It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It let’s us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.
Don Draper from TV Series Mad Men Season 1 Episode 13
Doing landscape or cityscape photography is one way of taking a break from street photography. It refreshes my tired eyes from finding the beauty of mundane on the busy streets. The other way of taking a break is to listen to whatever some random songs from YouTube until I find some inspirations.
Both ways have happened to me the other day while I was listening to Almost Blue by Chet Baker. After listening to this song over and over again, I grabbed my camera and shot some city scenes in my neighborhood. This photo is just one of them that really goes well with the song in my humble opinion.