Ducks in a row
Sometimes all your ducks just line up in one nice neat row at the right time and you just gotta do something about it. This happened a few weeks ago when Julie (wife) had some time off and I found myself with a few free days. So what to do?
We kicked around a few ideas but nothing was working for both of us. Now anytime the subject of going away for a few days comes up I always mention that I’d love to go back to New York, but the idea gets shut down quickly. We’ve only ever been once and while my wife enjoyed it I don’t think it ranked as a must see again for her! Having said that, our last visit was in 2003 and the city was still trying to recover from the tragedy of 9/11.
As discussions progressed I hit her with my ace card. We could catch the last day of the Michael Kenna exhibition at the Robert Mann Gallery on West 26th Street. Michael Kenna is a photographer whose work I’ve admired for some time but have never managed to see an exhibition! Last year we missed his exhibition at Mont Saint-Michel, France by just 2 days! So when I mentioned the exhibition the war was as good as over as Julie is also an admirer.
Here we go
Flights and hotel booked and we left 5 days later, full of the usual travel excitement. As luck would have it we actual arrived mid afternoon the day before the exhibition finished. A quick checkin into our tiny boutique New York hotel room and we headed straight down to the gallery to catch a glimpse before it closed for the day. This was only ever going to be a precursor to a much more leisurely stroll around the exhibition the next day and man it didn’t disappoint.
Some may view Michael Kenna as a bit of a dinosaur in our digital world, he shots film, makes his own darkroom prints, but however you look at it he knows his craft. He’s a photographer that creates extraordinarily simple images, beautifully. Anyway, after having my eyes well and truly opened to what is achievable with the traditional analog medium and getting my grubby paws on a signed copy of one of his books we set off to explore New York.
I’m now a dinosaur
The last time I traveled to New York (14 years previously) I shot everything digitally, this time I left all my digital cameras at home and chose film only! Well all except my iPhone. I wasn’t sure if I’d lost complete leave of my senses (something Julie has thought for a long time) or at best a labour of love.
Well as it turns out it was an inspired choice for many reasons, one being I seen more of the city. How come I hear you ask? Shooting on a digital camera has many advantages but chimping isn’t one, (chimping is the phenomena that has you constantly checking the back of your camera after taking a series of images). With film you take the picture and move on taking in more of your environment.
We did manage a few firsts this time, like walking the Brooklyn Bridge and we traveled on the subway. Fear prevented us from using the subway last time, guess we had watched too many movies!
Would we go back? I know I’d say yes in less time than it takes Usain Bolt to react to the starting pistol, would my wife? I think she would you know, although she’s not known for her speed. Guess I’m making my own dinner tonight when she reads this!