Jpockphoto | Timeless And Powerful

Timeless And Powerful

April 18, 2013  •  Leave a Comment
Photography is about capturing moments. As you are reading this, someone out there in the world is capturing a moment right now. Some of the moments are happy, some are sad and some are just...well...moments. With every picture taken, time stands still and we are able to go back in time to remember and relive those experiences.
When I attended the Hallmark Institute of Photography (HIP) in 1995, I had the pleasure of making several trips into Boston. I took a lot of pictures and of those photos I took there, this is by far my most memorable and favorite one. Until recently, I wasn’t sure exactly what store or which street this was taken on. Missing that information has always bugged me, but I was ok just knowing the approximate area this was in. With the recent news surrounding the tragic events in Boston and with the help of Google Maps, I was able to fill in the missing blanks. I now have more of a complete story surrounding this image. This was taken along Boylston Street in front of the Lord & Taylor store in 1995. I don't know if I will be able to look at this image quite the same way again, knowing what just occurred this past week.
Every time I look at this image, I get chills up and down my spine and always think I’m looking at someone else’s photograph. When I took this picture I was concentrating on the guy sitting on the sidewalk. I did notice the another guy walking into the frame, but decided it was ok because I can crop him out later if I wanted to. When I finally got back to the darkroom at HIP and processed the film, I was just stunned at what I had captured. One of regrets I have with this image was not having the courage to talk to one or both of the gentlemen or get their names. It would be interesting to know where they are now or if they are still alive.
Upon further examination, a few things stood out to me. I didn’t notice this at first, but the guy sitting was looking directly at me somewhat annoyed I was taking his picture and the other guy walking had a judgmental look to him staring towards the guy sitting. Then if you notice the guy sitting is wearing darker colored clothing and is more disheveled, whereas the other guy is wearing lighter colored clothing and is more clean cut. The last major thing that stood out was the space between the two. If you cut this image in half vertically there would be two different images with another two different meanings. There is so much happening in this small moment of time and can be interpreted in so many ways. Some people will try to find deeper meaning in this photo, but I have learned to take the meaning of it at face value and let the photo speak on it’s own.
Nearing graduation from HIP, I was given the opportunity to meet one on one with Skip Cohen who at the time was the President and CEO of Hasselblad USA (Hasselblads were the recommended medium format camera to use for the school). I was able to show him some of my photographs including the one posted above which was shot with my Hasselbald. When he saw this image, he said he liked it a lot and this was one of the most powerful and striking images he has seen in a while. Mr. Cohen said it has so much meaning on many different levels that he was just overwhelmed and speechless. After talking with him for a few more moments about other things, I decided at the end of our meeting to give him the photograph. He gladly accepted the print and said he was going to have this framed and hung next to one of the original Ansel Adams prints in his office. To this day I have no proof if he really did or not, I’m just going by his word. Also, since he is no longer with Hasselblad, I’m not even sure if he still has the print or if it’s somewhere lost and forgotten about in the Hasselblad archives.
I would like to think after 18 years Mr. Cohen still has it framed and next to an original Ansel Adams in his current office.

 


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