Posts Tagged ‘New York City


World Trade Center Photographs

I was working at the Department of Photography and Imaging at NYU when the towers fell. To see them, we had to take turns leaning out the window of the photo studio on the 8th floor. My colleague Karl was leaning out the window when the second tower came down. “They’re gone,” he said, straightening.

Six hours later, when the L train was again running, I returned to my apartment in Brooklyn, got my camera, and took this photo on the banks of the East River

I remembered that I had taken this photo, in February of 2001, in which the World Trade Center was visible in the background.

I returned to the same site and took this photograph in September of 2001. The smoke from Ground Zero is illuminated by rescue lights, and silhouettes the Woolworth's building.

Weeks after the attacks, I walked with my neighbor Susan along the banks of the East River, and we found the still-burning candles at this impromptu shrine. Susan sat down among the candles and I took this photo, which was later included in the book Here is New York and the related exhibitions.


more fun with fisheye

Playing with my new fisheye lens has prompted me to cull through some of my older fisheye photos for comparison. My first fisheye lens was a 30mm Arsat for the Kiev 88 medium format camera. It was a heavy beast that I bought at the factory in Kiev and carried on my trans-siberian railroad trip in 1999. The lens was sharp enough, but the camera body was unreliable (it frequently failed to advance the film, causing unintended multiple exposures). I also had opportunity to use a 16mm Nikkor fisheye lens that belonged to NYU. I took this photo with a Nikon F100 and the borrowed lens at the terminus of the 7 train in Queens, New York (right next to Shea Stadium). Available light shot was handheld with Kodak film pushed to ISO 3200 (processed with D-76, as I recall–I decided the following year to use only HC-110).

The terminus of the 7 train in Queens

The terminus of the 7 train in Queens


USA Today

I made some portraits of Irish American novelist Colum McCann last year when he came to Austin to give a reading. His publisher (Random House) bought the rights to use one of the photos on the jacket of his new book, Let the Great World Spin. Subsequently, the photo has also been appearing alongside reviews of the new book, like this one in a recent issue of USA Today.

I’m not sure whether it was the book publisher or the newspaper that decided to crop off the sides of McCann’s face, but somebody (not me) decided he would look better with no ears.

I haven’t read the book yet, but his previous novels and short stories have been great, so I am eager to get my hands on this one.

Tech info: Contax 645 with Fuji C 220 film. 140mm f2.8 Carl Zeiss lens with Contax extension tube. Photographed with natural light.

My photo of author Colum McCann

My photo of author Colum McCann

July 2018
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