Loading...
Menu

Street Photography: New York, New Orleans, Saint Louis, Chicago, San Francisco

p<>{color:#000;}.

Street Photography

New York, New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco

James Hegarty

Shakespir Edition

Copyright 2017 James Hegarty

TheCreativeEdgeBooks.com

Photography books by this author

To See: Tokyo Street Photography

Guts & Soul: Looking for Street Music and Finding Inspiration

New York 1979 1980: Street Photography Lost and Found

Also by this author

Work of Art: The Craft of Creativity

Break the Rules: 50 Smashing Ways to be More Creative

The Inspiration Notebook: Over 100 Ways to Begin

To everyone who sees beauty in the street

__________

table of contents

 

The Light of Voices Dancing

New York

New Orleans

Saint Louis

Chicago

San Francisco

A Note of Thanks

__________

the light of voices dancing

Do you know Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto? If you do, then you know what I see on the street. Harmony, order, individuality, thoughts blending and intersecting, a tangible example of who we really are. Schoenberg heard melody and chords in twelve note relationships. A concept that all notes were created equal, none greater or more important than any other. No tonic, no hierarchical assumptions of stronger or weaker, of consonance or dissonance.

It was a time of upheaval in the world. Humanity pushing against humanity, and striving for dominance. Everyone striving for the power chord, a nice strong G7. He was a refugee, Schoenberg was. A German Jew who managed to make it to the States and to continue his art, composing and teaching and holding to his vision that there was indeed beauty in a concept that few others were able to convincingly accept – the liberation of tonality, a system that ensured equality despite centuries of ingrained prejudices.

I grew up in the Viet Nam war era in a suburb of Chicago where the war, as well as the civil rights movement, was something that happened on our television set. Even though the 1968 Democratic Convention riots happened about 25 miles from my home, it seemed as far away as Hanoi to me at the age of about thirteen. I was too young to be at Woodstock and too young to march with Dr. King. But I wasn’t too young to go to Nam, except by the grace of God I received a 362 in the draft lottery, virtually ensuring that I wouldn’t be drafted.

And now we are here, in the seventeenth year of a new millennium and I am looking around wondering how we can find ourselves still so divided. We can still be so far from Schoenberg’s sense of concord, from a recognition that B-flats have no more inherent power than G’s or D’s or A’s. They’re just notes. And if it weren’t for centuries of thinking like Mozart or Beethoven, we would inherently know that all musical pitches were created equal. It is only our ingrained sense of cultural hierarchy that gives us the impression that sometimes one note is more important than the others. And we hear dissonance when other notes sound against it.

If art reflects life, it is the life that the artist sees before his or her internal eyes. It is the life that we mold and fashion within our own personal attempt to cognize the scene into some kind of context, rational or irrational, logical or chaotic, understandable or incomprehensible. Art reflects the vision of the artist, not reality itself. The artist translates life through a personal lens, a filter or brush that is already saturated with the preexisting colors of an individual unique experience. Art is not journalism, it is not the transmission of facts in strict impartiality. Art bears the weight and power, as well as the liability, of individualism. The artist is responsible. The work is accountable to the an individual vision, and nothing else.

New York was different in 1979 when I first photographed there. Darker, with a harder edge. I walked the streets with a Kodak Pocket Instamatic and captured my first rolls of life seen through my inner lens, a lens awakening out of seclusion and recognizing that the borders of this world were very wide indeed.

In recent years, my efforts to render a vision of life in color and light has been more deliberate. Sometimes, the landscape has been near to my door, other times I have entered a new and unfamiliar world. Sometimes these new worlds have become a recurring part of the identity I shape for myself. The images chosen for this collection are all drawn from places that have become very familiar to me. New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco, as well as my former home, Chicago, and my current city, St. Louis have been the basis of a continuity of place for me for at least ten years, now. These are the places I go back to, these are the places I know well. These are the places I believe I have come to understand, at least somewhat. Which leads me to hope that there is some depth and power within these images that draws upon a deeper awareness of roots, comprehension, empathy, and maybe even compassion.

This is a collection of chamber music images. Duets, trios, quartets, and often solos. Images that draw focus on individuals moving through space, dancing, amid the patterns and trajectories of countless others, each hearing the polyrhythmic pulse of a magnificently complex underlying order. In music and images, I value the clear pronounced voice of the individual. Perhaps, in these images, a bit of that individualistic beauty and presence cuts through.

It took me too long, at least 20 years, to really arrive at an understanding of Schoenberg’s music. I was not alone in the challenge – and indeed some never arrive there – but that is not much of an excuse. His sound challenges the ear with new concepts. It is hard to accept at first. In art there are many layers and the more intense the vision, the more layers of meaning there are. Often music is heard only on the surface, the qualities of the voice, the tone of the drums, the electrifying grit of the distortion. But dig deeper and there is the contour of the melody and the interconnected rhythms of the drum patterns with the bass line. The vocal is more than an attractive sound. There are words articulated with an underlying purpose to inflect the syllables and punctuations with a glimmer of hope that someone will actually understand the subtext. As a keyboard player, my voice is the shapes of chords, the angles of the melody and the interrelationships of notes to each other that combine in a sense of purposeful expression. The choices of tone and timbre are the result of the intuitive and conscious interplay between the layers of meaning. Text and subtext moving kaleidoscopically from one instant to the next.

Do we see the subtext, do we hear it? There is always something going on under the surface. So it is on the street. Layers of meaning, fragments of insights into what is inside each of us. Looking closely and trying to decipher the layers is hard within the passing moment of real time. But in the freeze-frame image of street photography, it is possible to stop and ponder, to notice the small relationships that hint at something more grand and meaningful. The constant motion of life itself. In the still frame of street photography we have the opportunity to know this life better, to value each of us as individual reflections of something vast and important The unnoticed becomes the focus, the ordinary becomes beautiful, the random seeming meaninglessness becomes the essence of something transcendent. If we move and act and be with the realization that each one of us really holds a place in this great balance of order – as the frozen-in-time artifact of street photography evidences – questions of purpose, value, equality, become as tangible as they really are. Study the moments preserved, seek their meaning, strive to see the subtext, feel the relationships, and the steps of our lives will be inspired and recalibrated. The lives we see and the lives we are will be seen in a higher context, in an awareness of just how essential and beautiful each of us is. That’s the life preserved in the images of the street. Motion, connections, reflections, dancing. This is the sound, the words, the look, the reality of voices dancing.

James Hegarty, August, 2017

__________

1

New York

Battery Ferry Terminal, July 18, 2014

Manhattan, Lower East Side, July 19, 2014

Manhattan, Lower East Side, July 19, 2014

Fort Tryon Park, July 16, 2017

SoHo, July 19, 2014

Ditmas Avenue, Brooklyn, July 13, 2017

Riverside Park, July 15, 2017

14th Street Union Square Subway Station, July 18, 2014

Subway, July 18, 2014

Bushwick, July 19, 2014

Brooklyn, July 21, 2014

Brooklyn, July 21, 2014

5th Avenue and 81st Street, Upper East Side, July 15, 2017

Subway, July 16, 2017

Brooklyn Bridge, March 27, 2009

__________

2

New Orleans

Decatur Street near Jackson Square, April 11, 2009

Frenchman Street, May 16, 2014

Outside La Boulangerie, Magazine Street at Cadiz Street, April 17, 2015

Magazine Street near Washington Avenue, May 15, 2014

French Quarter, May 16, 2014

Corner of St. Louis and Royal, French Quarter, April 11, 2009

Jackson Square, April 17, 2015

Streetcar on Saint Charles Avenue, April 17, 2015

Magazine Street near Jackson Avenue, May 15, 2014

Blue Nile, Frenchman Street, April 17, 2015

“Spontaneous Prose Store,” Frenchman Street, April 17, 2015

Jackson Square, April 17, 2015

Spotted Cat, Frenchman Street, April 17, 2015 On the Levee, Mississippi River, May 16, 2014

__________

3

Saint Louis

Delmar Boulevard, June 26, 2016

Soulard Farmers Market, May 28, 2016

Delmar Boulevard, August 2, 2017

Delmar Boulevard, August 2, 2017

Soulard Farmers Market, May 28, 3016

Soulard Farmers Market, May 28, 3016

Meat Counter, Soulard Farmers Market, May 28, 3016

Delmar Boulevard, June 26, 2016

Mission Taco, Delmar Boulevard, August 2, 2017

Mission Taco, Delmar Boulevard,, June 19, 2016

Delmar Boulevard, June 25, 2016

Delmar Boulevard, May 15, 2016

Delmar Boulevard, May 15, 2016

Delmar Boulevard, May 15, 2016

Delmar Boulevard, May 15, 2016

Delmar Boulevard, August 2, 2017

__________

4

Chicago

Michigan Avenue, May 31, 2014

Loop, May 30, 2014

Ohio Street, May 30, 2014

Dearborn Street Bridge, May 31, 2014

DePaul Neighborhood, July 13, 2008

Michigan Avenue, September 6, 2015

West Erie, May 30, 2014

Michigan Avenue, September 6, 2015

Streeterville, September 6, 2015

East Superior Street, September 6, 2015

Michigan Avenue, September 6, 2015

Michigan Avenue, September 6, 2015

West Adams Street, May 30, 2014

__________

5

San Francisco

Stanza Coffee, 16th Street in the Mission, June 9, 2016

Somewhere in the Mission, June 9, 2016

15th Street in the Mission, July 22, 2017

Stanza Coffee, 16th Street in the Mission, June 9, 2016

Somewhere in the Mission, June 9, 2016

Tartine Bakery, Guerrero, in the Mission, June 9, 2016

Tartine Bakery, Guerrero, in the Mission, June 9, 2016

15th Street at Castro, July 22, 2017

Outside Beachside Coffee Bar & Kitchen, 48th Avenue, Outer Sunset, June 11, 2016

Ocean Beach, June 11, 2016

__________

A Note of Thanks

Thank you to everyone whose images are represented here. Street photography is an unknowing collaboration between the photographer and the photographed. Together we create the evidence of some kind of connection that strives to go deeper into an understanding of why we are all here, each of us individually and collectively.

When I am photographing on the street, the world feels big, grand, and without divisions. It is as if we really are all together in one single community. Whether we are standing on Ditmas Avenue or Dolores St, Magazine Street or Michigan Avenue, or here outside my door on Delmar, we are all connected somehow, moving in an infinitely complex rhythm, a music of equally tonality . It is this energy of collaboration that inspires me and draws me back again to find an hour or two to spend on the street, seeking images of real life.

Thank you for reading my book. I sincerely hope it has been enjoyable and inspiring. Please stay in touch. I look forward to connecting with you on my web sites below!

-Jim

www.JimHegarty.com

www.TheCreativeEdgeBooks.com

www.Facebook.com/TheCreativeEdgeBooks


Street Photography: New York, New Orleans, Saint Louis, Chicago, San Francisco

  • ISBN: 9781370824175
  • Author: James Hegarty
  • Published: 2017-08-07 06:35:21
  • Words: 2040
Street Photography: New York, New Orleans, Saint Louis, Chicago, San Francisco Street Photography: New York, New Orleans, Saint Louis, Chicago, San Francisco