Monday, December 14, 2009

City Hall Plaza (the third)

(click to enlarge)

Sometimes, I like to go back and rework a picture. I do this by reexamining the raw expsosures and thinking about what I want to do. For this picture, I took about 200 pictures back in July at City Hall Plaza. I've done two other pictures from this raw material. One fit just about everything I could fit into the scene. For the next one, I put the people in color order according to their clothing. For this one, I looked for people both close up and far away.  (In the same way some photographers play with scale--an important theme in street photography--but backwards, of course, in my case). It's like a jigsaw puzzle. First I fit in the big pieces--the man making the face, the old lady, the man in blue, the man in the yarmulke--then I look through all the pictures looking for other smaller figures that fit. I'm always amazed that something as simple and basic as scale can be of such perennial interest. I think it lays bare some of the animal wiring of the brain--that the eye can be fooled, the mind takes shortcuts to make sense of the world, etc.--and I think this accounts for some of the delight and strangeness playing with scale can elicit.

I'm almost ready for my show at Gallery Kayafas (January 22 through February 27--the opening is Feb. 5 at 5:30). I've spent most of the fall framing and printing and mulling over the final selection of ten pictures for the show, which I find the hardest part.

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