In May 2016 I watched the sun go down from Tudor City in Manhattan, gathered with many other people to witness ‘Mangattanhenge’ - the sun setting between the buildings whilst looking down the length of 42nd Street. This is a famous location to see this event - when the sun is aligned with the east–west streets of Manhattan. Also, as this street features the Chrysler building it makes for a wonderful composition. This only happens twice a year and so it’s a relatively special event and is well attended by photographers and tourists.
While the sight itself is beautiful, once I had seen the sun go down (and no doubt captured a very similar photograph to everyone else who was there), I decided to experiment a little. Initially I started by adjusting the tilt on my lens, to try to achieve an interesting partially out-of-focus effect but then decided to go for full out-of-focus across the frame. It was then that I realised that the dark scene with flickering lights from the traffic created an interesting composition, minimal with subtle colour and light. I also realised that this was probably a unique way to look at this scene. This uniqueness appealed to me as artistic vision relies on some level of uniqueness in creative work. As a result I feel that photographs of this kind are more ‘me’ than the ones I captured initially in the traditional way to photograph.
I strongly believe that creating photographs that feel that they are my unique view on the world is very important. I recently started to offer prints for sale on this website and I felt the same thing when choosing which ones to include. The photographs that I felt were uniquely mine were the ones that I felt were the most appropriate to be included in print sales. The unique feeling in a photography can sometimes be a subtle aspect of the photograph or (as is the case below) a more strong conceptual theme. This will vary from photographer to photographer.
On this occasion, when creating these photographs, I found them when I wan’t looking for them. Nothing about the resulting photographs was planned, apart from the location. It seems then that these unique perspectives need to be discovered and cannot be planned. This is something I aim to keep in mind and to always be open to in the future.