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Umbrella

Sat, Jun 9, 2007

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I shoot different things for different reasons. In the moment, while taking the photograph, it usually feels right. I’m not thinking, at all. But even if I know why, at the time, do I really?

I’m a Photojournalist, by trade, however I sketch ideas for photographs; structured ideas of things I’ve seen and things I’ve imagined, most of them requiring a studio. ‘Umbrella’ was something I had seen, which didn’t require a studio.

I was in New York, and it was midnight. I was alone, on my way to Port Authority, and I saw a woman. She was standing under a street lamp, at a crosswalk, holding an umbrella. The rain had stopped and the light had changed, but she didn’t move. She stood there, perfectly still. I remember the light being beautiful, and the scene strange, so I sketched it.

Five years later, I re-created the scene in Santa Barbara, California, where I was living. I grabbed a 4×5 camera, a friend, and set it up around midnight. To get the height needed, I stood on the camera’s case and put the tripod on a small slope.

With two sheets of film, I took a reading. Four Seconds at 5.6! Wow! On the second take, it was done. I overdeveloped the film and printed it on Charcoal paper. It worked. It felt like New York and it’s one of my favorites.

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