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Street Photography in New York City, with Gerard Exupery
"Back to another episode of this week and photo. I'm your host frederik van johnson today on the show got gerard exupery. He's a veteran new york city based street photographer. That knows more about street photography than than or has forgotten more about it than i probably will ever know about street photography. We're gonna dive into that a little bit as well as what. It's like shooting in and around new york city now and before pandemic all that stuff going to talk about gear all this stuff so gerard. Welcome to the show man. How's it going very well. Glad to be here. Yeah it is good to hear man. I'm excited to chat. So we've got you know. The the john mara of photography. And then this genre of let's call it of photojournalism or that that world of shooting. What's the difference. What's the difference between street photography. And that i think that in journey with photo journalism you tend to think in terms of projects. Not just one image. You know a a series of images that tell a complete story and i think with straight photography. is generally just one image. Okay okay has got to tell the story one at a time. So let let's rewind back to the time to. Let's let's do origin story thing so cue. The flashback so the origin story of girard. Where what was that moment where you knew that. Okay i feel like. I need to be taking pictures of this. This amazing city. I live in well on my planet. We didn't really have photography. And when i came to earth. And i'm sorry all right more and you know it's funny. It's the only thing i've ever wanted to do since As far back as i can remember one of my earliest memories of my father staying his role affleck's in my hand. While i took the first picture took and which was a ship underneath the verrazano bridge and it just stuck in my mind. He passed away about a year after that. And you know. I it just all these feelings about photography and loss. Let's say i don't know all came together. And i just knew that this is the direction i wanted to go. Yeah yeah and it's a good direction. It's the world photography from my standpoint on of you agree with this but it's it's equal parts. Geeky ray is we like the technology and all that stuff and then it psychology you when you're dealing with the public and trying to get the right shot or get the shot or permission to do the shot and the you know the all of this stuff in between psychology science physics wrapped up into the time machine that we call a camera to fast forward to now the president or the recent the recent present. Let's call it like this last this past five five or so years me decade your adventures in and around new york city. The i can't imagine being a street photographer. There for just an extended period of time when i'm there is overload. It's just like what. Do i take pictures of two months. It's too much going on you get analysis paralysis. What would have been some of the standout experiences you've had in city over the past decade or so that you like okay. I got to tell this bar story. Wow pick were got to pick one. I think defining Well this is. It's further back than ten years but sure for for the finding event was i was involved in a robbery and a camera store. And it's a long story but rather traumatic thing. Somebody was killed and and i got roughed up a little bit and it was it was. It wasn't pleasant. But it was. After that i i realized well putting yourself out there making yourself vulnerable and taking pictures strangers asking or you know. I don't think covertly taking pictures of people is for me. It's just not right so if you're going to ask or you're just going to be obvious bat it you've got to put yourself out and up until that point I didn't know what i was expecting to happen but After that i figured well. What's the worst that can happen. I already found out what the worst that can happen. And it really It helped me in. Maybe be taught me to be very aware of my surroundings almost in a comfortable way though. So that okay. Let's not ever forget. I've gone into situations where drug dealers on a corner. And i was taking a picture of this house that was closed and abandoned actually in patterson not beard city paterson new jersey which is really exciting. We've got a water tower waterfall. There you go and a crappy movie was made by. Jim jarmusch bad it. It lasts two years ago and any case so i am standing there taking pictures and You know. I hear this guy walking up to me and it was interesting because there were like three. Get two or three guys on each corner but not the corner i was on the house was and i'm i'm taking pictures and i hit. This guy comes up behind the camera up to my eye. And i can hear him. I'm aware of him and he said. Hey what are you doing. I told them flat out. I'm taking pictures of buildings that have been foreclosed on You know and properties that have been abandoned families that have gone kicked out. And what have you. And he goes off and you know then he goes How much do you think they want that house i should. Oh i don't know but whatever it is going to be pretty cheap