of the issues we frequently discuss in my photography class is
the photographer's ability to manipulate the viewer's response
to the subject matter - by the choice of images presented and
through the use of various photographic conventions such as perspective,
lighting, focus, aperture, shutter speed. Often the viewer is
unaware of these manipulations and regards photography as much
more objective than, say, painting or sculpture or other art forms
where a more obvious subjective manipulation is occurring.
discussions have led me to pay more and more attention to my intentions
behind every photo I shoot. Yet there are still plenty of times
I simply pick up my camera and take a picture, with little or
no thought or intention behind the photo - as many people take
photos, a snapshot, a mere recording.
Monday, September 10, I picked up 11 rolls of color film from
the lab and glanced quickly through them, then put them aside.
Tuesday, September 11, after the terrible events of the morning
unfolded, I remembered I had some pictures of Manhattan Island
taken from the airplane - snapshots. I took out the pictures for
a visual reference of where the twin towers stood on the island.
The picture to the right is the first picture I pulled out, and
the irony of the airplane wing looming over the twin towers hit
me. A snapshot.... there was no intending meaning when the picture
was taken. Would I have taken such a picture after such an event,
if such a thing were possible?
did not intend to take this picture, this picture intended for
me to take it. The only choice I make with it as a photographer
is to share it with you.
were, however, numerous photos I had intentionally taken in New
York over the past year for various projects I had in mind. On
September 11 I was in the middle of working on my first photography
project of the semester - a 360 degree panorama of Times Square.
I had also taken a bunch of pictures on the Brooklyn Bridge and
was working those into a panorama as well.
the events of the 11th, I felt I could not continue with my original
project - it did not seem right to continue as if nothing had
happened. And as I looked through the images I had already compiled
I kept finding additional little pieces of irony.... a subway
station with a sign for the WTC, images of the twin towers, and
a billboard in Times Square (an advertisement for Hallmark) reading
"story upon story upon story.... the world trade center."
Still, how to change my project eluded me - I did not want to
abandon the Times Square idea completely, but I did not know how
to tie it in with my images of the twin towers. The day before
the project was due it all came together. My images, two weeks
of newspapers, hundreds of images from the internet, many tears
and a long night later my personal tribute was born.
THAT DAY 6,000 PEOPLE DID NOT DIE. ONE PERSON DIED 6,000 TIMES."
- Rabbi Marc Gellman, Yankee Stadium Memorial Service,
installation. Each piece is 4 ft. x 3 ft., connected with string.
are the my actual photographic images (with the exception of the
use of one image from the internet), digitally assembled and manipulated
- to the left is part of the Times Square Panorama with an image
of the WTC destruction superimposed over it. In the center is
the billboard. To the right are all the other images relating
in one way or another to the WTC.
on each image for a larger view.