Yesterday I set forth my thoughts on these bicycle locking posts, including how their shape related to their purpose, both in terms of aesthetics and efficiency. I mentioned I had been wanting to photograph them since I first saw some near Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO maybe 2 years ago. When I first saw them, for a few moments, I simply thought they were art. I did not realize they were bicycle locking stations at first. And I think that temporary misapprehension is what held me back from shooting them immediately in that context.
I’m always wary of shooting someone else’s art work, be it a sculpture, mural, or what have you. It seems too derivative, as if I’m just piggybacking on someone’ else’s creativity. Of course, photography is inherently a secondary act of creation. Whether our subject is a piece of art, a building, cityscape, portrait,landscape or something else, it is almost always something the photographer did not create. We can compose, direct, and move things around, but they are almost always persons or things we did not create. So you try to add something so the photograph becomes something more than just a plain, direct representation of what was there.
Shooting your subject as a reflection in a mirror or window is a cliche, perhaps, but it it something. I also chose the medium, in this case I used Velvia slide film. I did not go out that day with the film in the camera thinking that I wanted to shoot these items, but when I saw them, with the reflection, and he late afternoon light, and the colors, I thought I had something more that was not present in my previous encounters.
So here they are.