Sunday, September 11, 2011

New York.. New York... My muse...

Today, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I have spent the day reflecting.. Like many people I have so many thoughts and emotions about it. You obviously feel terrible about all the people who were killed. Even if you didn't know someone directly, chances are you know someone who knows someone.. When it happened I thought I didn't know anyone who was even there... 10 years later I am still discovering old classmates or family members of friends who were at the WTC and escaped the towers before they fell.

This morning I watched a variety of the 9/11 related programming which saturated all the channels. The one that brought it home the most was on MSNBC where they were replaying their news broadcast from that day. On 9/11 my wife and I were down in FL (on our honeymoon no less) and our only link to what was going on was the TV news. To relive what we actually saw that day brought it back quite a bit.

For some reason, I have always had this indescribable feeling of loss about 9/11. I know that all of us Americans feel something like that. But I felt like it was more personal then it should be. I could never understand it because I didn't lose anyone close to me. It wasn't until today that I finally understood why.

All of us artists have our muses... someone or something that sparks our creative spirit and brings out the best in us... an inspiration if you will. For me when I was first starting out with photography the NYC skyline was what did it for me. A majority of my first major work with my first digital cameras all had to do with NYC. I lost count of the number of trips I made to Liberty State Park, Ellis Island, and took cruises around Manhattan Island where I shot hundreds of pictures. I used to walk around the streets shooting anything and everything. Since then I have had other muses... my daughter, my wife, and Arizona for example.. but NYC was and still is one of the first that really did it for me.

When the terrorists took out the towers, and damaged that skyline, they were in effect damaging my muse. They broke a piece off of what inspired me. It is only now that I fully understand that this was what I had been feeling. It is such a insignificant thing as compared to losing a loved one, but all the same it is just another way those insane people hurt us. 

So today I decided to undertake a project that has been on the back burner for quite a while. I have a ton of NYC related material from my early days that has not been processed or even touched in years. It was all done with my old Olympus cameras (C2020Z, and E-10) and not only were they relatively low resolution (2MP, or 4MP) but they also had a ton of sensor noise even at ISO 100. I have resisted working on that stuff since I didn't want to put the time in when I had plenty of more recent work to play with. However, I think the time is right. So over the next weeks I'll be gradually putting this stuff up in my galleries.I am not sure how many will make the cut.. I figure there are at least 10-15 images I have always liked that will go up. Maybe more. I'm very picky as you know. Time will tell.

On another different but similar note.. I tried today to get some shots of The Tribute in Lights. I had planned to go to the waterfront but that didn't happen. Instead I stayed locally and went to Eagle Rock Reservation.. Of course I was not the only person with that idea and it was utterly saturated with people. The whole thing was for naught.. atmospheric conditions really didn't allow a usable shot from that location. So I went home empty handed.