NY3: The 'Do I even live here?' Edition by a zugunruhe

11/15/17-11/15/18 has been an interesting time.

After years of grinding out video editing skills, I landed a good job. After years of grinding out concert photography, people started digging my stuff. It has been cool and exciting.

At the beginning of 2018 I was finishing a temp job at MoMA and am ending the year in Bangkok after a three month stay in Europe that was sparked by acceptance to a residency in Arles, France.

When the year began, I was still developing my Sight + Sound series that I shot from February to May 2017 in Switzerland, Cuba, and Iceland. Work that took me longer than expected because I had no blueprint for the amount of work I wanted to put into it.

I also wanted to make strides in as many production areas as possible.

I took my After Effects time more seriously and began ripping random Soundcloud song to make videos. I began my slow decent into Trapcode and 3d rendering software and very much look forward to what will come from spending more time there.

I sold all of the lenses I was familiar with and attempted to transition to a zoom lens. After I was tired of trading quality for a quick change of focal lengths, I switched back to one main prime and it helped me set my focus for the photo sets that I’m releasing next. I forgot how much I loved the constraint of one focal length to help me think about how to shoot situations.

A slightly depressing but productive 2017 set me up for an insane 2018. I can only hope to work even harder in 2019.

I hope everyone’s next 365 days is productive.

 Diet Cig

Diet Cig

 Bushwick

Bushwick

 Sound Of Ceres

Sound Of Ceres

 Grand Street L, first snow

Grand Street L, first snow

 Stuyedeyed

Stuyedeyed

 Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

 Show Me The Body

Show Me The Body

 L Train

L Train

 Octopus Project

Octopus Project

 Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale

 DRMCRSHR

DRMCRSHR

 Abandoned factory in Gowanus

Abandoned factory in Gowanus

 Sloppy Jane

Sloppy Jane

 Q Train

Q Train

 Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt

 Fort Tilden

Fort Tilden

 Elsewhere

Elsewhere

 Coney Island

Coney Island

 Grim Streaker

Grim Streaker

 The Footlight

The Footlight

 The Go! Team

The Go! Team

 South 4th Cafe (RIP)

South 4th Cafe (RIP)

 Pill

Pill

 Coney Island

Coney Island

 Sound of Ceres

Sound of Ceres

 Bowery

Bowery

 Death of Lovers

Death of Lovers

 Rockaway

Rockaway

 Teen Body

Teen Body

 Boat party

Boat party

 Greenpoint Gallery

Greenpoint Gallery

 Mr Lower Eastside

Mr Lower Eastside

 Secret Circle

Secret Circle

 Metropolitan Station

Metropolitan Station

 Retail

Retail

 Midtown

Midtown

Downtown Houston Tunnel System by a zugunruhe

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What began as a short tunnel connecting a few buildings in the 1930's has slowly evolved to nearly seven miles of color coded corridors that allow pedestrians to navigate downtown Houston without being exposed to 100 degree weather with 100% humidity.

Inspired by the underground system at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, the system grew for different needs. One early adopter connected a few of his theaters just to save on air conditioning. 

People are usually shocked when they first hear of the tunnels. Those having lived in and around Houston for years (even their entire lives) have no idea this system exists. They immediately assume it's some sort of urban exploration trek, akin to a large sewage passage or abandoned subway tunnel.

In fact, they are painfully boring.

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Imagine a mall that hit its peak two decades ago or a regional airport terminal. Wandering the carpet-covered walls in the mid-afternoon reveals a florescent-lit ghost town twenty feet under the city. Through a good chunk of the near-Brutalist geometries of the meandering hallways, it feels like you just snapped out of a day dream only to realize you have been working a soul-crushing job for the last thirty years.

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This is truly a utilitarian design.

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The entire experience isn't doom and gloom. The labyrinth has grown into a popular service station during the lunch hour. The hallways are populated with banks, doctors, barbershops, and cleaners, but mostly filled with food court-esque restaurants. Short stretches are adorned with Houston memorbilia ranging from sports to NASA.

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Turning corner after corner in this tiled bunker can dull all senses. Every so often you are rewarded for your resolve by a visual breath of air. Windows offer that escape, either exposing you to a courtyard or reminding you of the magnitude of the buildings you are under.

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Only a small area was undergoing construction after damage from Harvey. In 2001, after Hurricane Allison, large metal doors were put in place to seal the entire area off from flooding. Shipbuilders came in and fitted doors akin to submarine hatches across the tunnel system. As only a short stretch was affected, I'm sure a lot of small business owners throughout are incredibly grateful for this level of precaution.

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The tunnels serve a purpose and offer an interestingly banal view of the people and companies that use them on a day-to-day basis. In fact, this is one of the few places I've visited where one of the more popular places to eat is just called "Chicken Etcetera." Looking forward to its future rival, "Food Here."

There are multiple ways into the tunnels. The only street level entrances are at Wells Fargo Plaza and McKinney Garage. All others are in the lobies of buildings and aren't too hard to discover.

Another Year In NYC by a zugunruhe

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New York is a weird place.

Over the last twelve months, I've only spent a little over seven here. My time was split between NYC, India, Switzerland, Rome, Iceland, Cuba, Baltimore, Texas, and roughly a week on trains.

This year had me moving out of the country for an extended time to do my first residency in Skagastrond, Iceland. There, I fell short of my initial goals but immediately started producing photo sets like Lightwaves and Dreamscapes that I'm incredibly proud of.

From that experience I came back to NYC to put on my first solo gallery show produce the project Framing, which is something that had been bouncing around my head for over a year. 

Beginning with Framing, I started combining my love of making music and putting together visuals to promote my photo sets. This has put me on a very tight schedule with the momentary release of my Sights and Sounds series, a new effort into the travel videos that first pulled me into multimedia production.

I've definitely become more confident as a photographer than I was a year ago. This time has allowed to produce work on a scale I was incapable before and I'm excited for what I have in mind for the next twleve months.

 Last December's first snow over the Pulaski Bridge

Last December's first snow over the Pulaski Bridge

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 Takashio Hiisayasu at Greenpoint Gallery, Janurary

Takashio Hiisayasu at Greenpoint Gallery, Janurary

 Father at Kinfolk

Father at Kinfolk

 Claws photo shoot

Claws photo shoot

 Brooklyn-bound R train

Brooklyn-bound R train

 14th and 6th

14th and 6th

 Pipilotti Rost: Pixel Forest, New Museum

Pipilotti Rost: Pixel Forest, New Museum

 Manhattan Ave

Manhattan Ave

 Clockwork Bar

Clockwork Bar

 East Williamsburg

East Williamsburg

 MTA employee stuck after a stolen car is left in a crosswalk, Bed-Stuy

MTA employee stuck after a stolen car is left in a crosswalk, Bed-Stuy

 Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach

 Staten Island

Staten Island

 Ninjasonik/Unstoppable Death Machines/Snoopy at Knockdown Center

Ninjasonik/Unstoppable Death Machines/Snoopy at Knockdown Center

 Idiotarod 2017

Idiotarod 2017

 Idiotarod 2017

Idiotarod 2017

 Idiotarod 2017

Idiotarod 2017

 Dan and The Dude

Dan and The Dude

 Takashio Hiisayasu at Greenpoint Gallery, November

Takashio Hiisayasu at Greenpoint Gallery, November

 Trump Tower

Trump Tower

 Genivive

Genivive

 Halloween

Halloween

 La Vida Boheme at Central Park

La Vida Boheme at Central Park

 Daptone Records, Bushwick

Daptone Records, Bushwick

Amtrak II - 48 Lakeshore Limited by a zugunruhe

The 48 Lakeshore Limited Amtrak train runs from Chicago’s Union Station to New York City’s Penn Station. 

I used the majority of my time on the 48 to shoot through the port holes at the end of the traincars. My goal was to time and shoot landscapes along the route to stitch them together later as triptychs. 

The photos framed by the window reminded me of old slides my grandfather used to share of his wildlife photography. I took that idea and, because of the fleeting nature of the shots, tried to explore the framing like someone using a camera for the first time, like point-and-shoot snapshots to remember the moment, rather than composed photographs. 

I began constructing timelines from what I shot. I was most excited about lining up shots that flowed from one to another, like a satisfying pull from left to right. There are contrasting shots, where the flow would be ‘field—water—crops,’ or ‘graffiti—fall colors—graffiti.’ Sometimes timing allowed for a linear sequence: a stretching landscape or a man walking across a platform perfectly through each frame. 

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Amtrak I - 22 Texas Eagle by a zugunruhe

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I have a love for the slow travel experience of trains. The way one is lead through small towns and fields to urban centers. Seeing how big and varied this country is, is a long-term romance of mine. 

Since I’m familiar with Amtrak at this point, I want to share these beautiful views for each line I take.
 
The first is the 22 Texas Eagle. The 22 denoting that it’s the north bound of the line, and 21 being the south. The 22 starts in San Antonio and ends in Chicago, IL. The passenger goes though Austin, Dallas, Little Rock, St Louis, and numerous small towns along the way.

The beauty of Amtrak is the little things you see along the way. Snaking highways appear as rivers, watching small towns slowly build up to its Main Street then quickly dissipate, and the endless fields that pass by the train windows hypnotically. 

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During the day, I aimed to use the window's reflections and people as muses.

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At night I turned to black and white while still using the constrictions of windows. The less active train and the desolate lighting of long stops gave the feel of film noir.  

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Before long, I was solely shooting through windows. Being constrained to the framing was an incredibly fun challenge, considering the speed of the train. 

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And then I found the portholes at the end of the cars.  

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This presented an even greater obstacle. I had very little warning before something appeared, and often having a second or less to get a shot.

I attempted to time shots in order to peace them together as fictionalized scenes set across the entire line rather than linear scenarios.  

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