ABOUT THE WORK

All the images you see on this site are selections from my "SOLOSITY" blog project.

 

INSPIRATIONS

The title for the project, SOLOSITY, is inspired by the how city life makes so tangible our sense of being "alone together" and "together alone".   

We are all alone in life. But somehow, the sweet, honest, impressionistic stories of human sadness contained in the streets of NYC makes me feel strangely peaceful and not so alone. It calls out the existence of everyone's sense of isolation in life and in doing so makes everything feel, well, ok.  New York City makes me feel the being alone together with so many people makes everything, ok.

Sounds pretentious to me when I write it down, but there it is. 

My hope is that these images will evoke, in you, the same feelings of disparate intimacy that the song does in me. My hope is that these images will, as they do for me, provide you with a meaningful way to slow the city down a bit, allow you to press pause, enable you to linger for a moment and candidly actualize its strange and beautiful existence--to enable you to see and feel how this constantly changing landscape holds all this timeless human emotion and experience, right now, in our time.  

 

GEAR

For those interested, the project is shot entirely on a Nikon D800 with a Nikon 35mm 1.4G lens.  

All images are processed via Apple's Aperture Software and I do my black and white conversions via Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro 2.

 

 

ELEMENTS OF STYLE

I have arrived on this particular style of black & white: wide dynamic tonal range--mostly on the darker end of the spectrum, with rich blacks and specular highlights--by a sense of intuition.  I suspect that this look comes from some deep perspective I have on the city (and myself) that needs expression, as it has become such a strangely obvious and consistent style for me and brings me a great deal of satisfaction.  

I like to add a touch of grain to give the work a sense of nostalgia, which I think comes from my love of street photography from the 60's and 70's. I am obsessed with gritty, gummy, trash-stained sidewalks and streets, along with dramatic cloudy skies.  

 

Compositionally, I like to capture a sense of the earth and sky in my frame. I like to counter how most New Yorkers limit their point-of-view--eyes focused only a few feet ahead to avoid collision. The 35mm focal length is wide enough that it forces me to really consider the scene beyond my subject and allows me to wedge a strong sense of place and environment into the frame.  I love this focal length. 

 

I am attracted to isolated subjects in strange situations and places--mostly doing strange things. Everyone is trying so hard to behave with one another, and it's hard to do that in this place: personality clashes abound when you stack this many millions of assholes on top of one another.  I love it when a person's realness leaks out.  

I enjoy an imperfect vérité feel to my compositions, off centered subject placement, dutched angles--my camera is rarely level. I enjoy "pretty imperfections" and awkwardness. It feels more human and honest to me somehow.  I also have a thing for triangles. I am naturally drawn to triangular relationships between subjects, objects and environments--and triangular relationships between subject, environment and camera/me (I love it when people bust me taking their photograph, it is a very powerful experience in the moment that continues through to the final image). 

To me the photographs are part documentary, part depressive nightmare, part romantic fantasy. 

Again, sounds totally pretentious to me when I write it out, but there it is. 

 

THE PLAN

The plan for this project is to publish 6-10 images a day, based on daily themes, for an entire year--lasting from September 9th 2013 to September 9th 2014.

The project has recently moved from a virtual experience, to a real world one with people from around the world purchasing prints to enjoy them hanging in their personal and professional spaces. I am also working on a book project. 

 

THANK YOU

This project is an incredibly challenging, emotional and rewarding experience for me and I genuinely enjoy sharing the images with you.  

I sincerely appreciate your interest. 

Ken

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