Bond Street & 64th Street, Southwest Corner

Sunday, May 23, 2010

First pass, fast ….

Notes to yesterday evening's (100522) first, fast pass through the Tenth Avenue photos:

Already, just going from Tenth at 13th Street up to 20th Street I see that I'm looking at these photographs with eyes that know this neighborhood rather well, so that I'm seeing them very much in the context of my prior knowledge —

Tenth Avenue & 13th Street, Northeast & Southeast Corners

— OK, that's the High Line in the background on 13th Street, now finished and open as Manhattan's newest and possibly chicest park (well, maybe after Gramercy)

— amazing what's become of the formerly very grotty Meatpacking District

— now moving up into the Chelsea art gallery district (I remember when this was absolutely nothing, and all those galleries were in SoHO)

Tenth Avenue & 20th Street, Southeast Corner

and so on: shall I write all of these random thoughts up as I go along? No, not on this first pass, this enough to give the flavor of it, in this respect, I think.

Of course, just at the very beginning, at 13th Street, I took the two corners again early in 2010 and can't help wanting to make comparisons of the "then and now" type.

Is the discipline to disallow that sort of digressive thinking or is it rather to encourage it and see where it leads? Don't know yet. At least for a while I think I'll let everything lead me wherever it goes.

And personal memories intrude too:

Tenth Avenue & 24th Street, Southeast Corner

24th Street, SE — where my friend Carl Morse lived all the time I knew him until he died not quite two years ago.

Tenth Avenue & 26th Street, Northeast Corner

26th Street, east side — the scary projects between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, and somewhere in there the theater where I saw a production of my friend Bill Hoffman's play "Cornbury" last winter — no, gosh, winter before last already. Everett Quinn was fabulous as Cornbury.

Tenth Avenue & 27th Street, Southwest Corner

27th Street SW — Paul Kasmin Gallery — flashbacks to London 40 years ago, also memories of a great show of Morris Louis paintings maybe ten or a dozen years ago.

Tenth Avenue & 30th Street, Northwest Corner

30th Street, NW — one of the very few exceptions to my "no retouching" rule: the brick wall on the left was totally "blown out" (white) due to overexposure due in turn to not wanting to underexpose the corner itself under the High Line (and in its shadow). So I took that part of the wall from a prior exposure in which the shadows were almost completely "plugged" (black) but the sunlit wall was fine, and merged the two in PhotoShop. (But this doesn't, in my book, count as "substantive" retouching.)

OK, enough of this sort of thing, it takes too long for this first, fast pass, so let's roll on through.

Finished the fast pass around 7:35 PM and I started around 7 PM so about 35 minutes to race through 649 photographs, whew.

This was mostly meant just as a sort get reacquainted, so no systematic result, except as indicated, a sense of the different levels of looking/responding to the pictures, depending on how much I'm paying attention to the context I bring via "the eye's mind" (as I called it in a previous post), and how much of that is personal experience as opposed to general — I think I mean "book" — knowledge. And the difficulty of seeing what's in the pictures without too much reference to this context of prior knowledge.

Will try to look at them, going forward, at least in part, as if they were anywhere, and not where I know them to be, or for that matter, when.

Impossible to do in any absolute sense of course, but an orientation even to the impossible can maybe change "how things look" nonetheless, and thus sort of freshen up the eye.

No comments:

Post a Comment