About my snaps…

Recently I was told that my photographs are becoming increasingly abstract. Whoa! “Hmm,” I said for as long as I could hold that note, not knowing whether to follow up with “Thanks” or “What does that mean?” or even the ever so evasive “O, really” followed by an awkwardly expressed request for elucidation. Did abstract as used here mean unreal or without feeling or hard to identify with? Was it code for artistic or stupid, something better or, G-d forbid, worse?

*   *   *

My  photos show whatever it was enticed me to make them in the first place, whatever it was that just grabbed me. Each begins with what the camera recorded. That is only the beginning. As crucial to the finished product as the initial exposure is the  considerable effort spent post-processing. The goal: to bring the machine-made visual representation into line with the emotional event inciting the trigger being pressed.

Still, for all the cropping and color enhancement and contrast adjusting and intensification of highlights and shadows and warmth, a face remains a face, a window filled with reflections is still that, the intersecting planes of urban architecture are never other than buildings and every selfie still looks like me.

An interjection here that may be of some use: Yesterday I saw a feature film from 2005 or 06 called Fur: an imagined biography of Diane Arbus. Everyone from Arbus’ conventional family to the mysterious, fur-covered man who would lead her into the dark world she pursued until her suicide was abstracted, drawn in emotionally- charged caricature as were the environments in which the action took place. Everything was ultimately more than real.

*   *   *

Here are some new snaps. I’d very much like to know your responses to them.



72 & RSD


International Center of Photography


Store Window +, Broadway & 83rd Street, NYC


Rockaway Beach


School Flea Market W. 76 thru a window


ACA Gallery


Penn Station


LIRR Sleeper


Christie’s Revolving Door


Behind the Beacon Theater


From 3rd Av & W 57th


ACA Gallery: Grace Hartigan show


RSG B’way & 76

Published in: on October 3, 2017 at 8:31 pm  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m always drawn to simple leading lines and geometrics, particularly when isolated. I find that images that present the world in a way not “normally” seen are intriguing. Your shots of the revolving door, Penn Station, Rockaway and ICP are excellent examples of this. Busy color photos are fun, but more of an intellectual challenge. Find Waldo. Still cool, but they don’t grab me the same way. Beautiful stuff as usual! Thanks for sharing.


  2. Paul writes:

    Thank you. These pictures are so interesting (as always).


  3. Yes, your work has been becoming more abstract. The word means that more of the impact of the visual

    experience of looking at the work is derived from formal elements of composition, as was true

    with abstract expressionism. You don’t have to psychoanalyse yourself or the commentator. Just

    look at the work in comparison to what you were doing a few years ago. You have had a consistent

    sense of composition, but composition has become a more prominent feature.



  4. From Wes:

    Do you really care what pigeon-hole they put you in… you’re good.


  5. From Kathleen:

    Very interesting shots, Richard.
    I especially liked Penn Station.
    Thanks for sharing.


  6. Vuong writes:

    Many thanks for your interesting article.

    Your style is so “abstract”, I like it. It allows the viewers room to interpret according to their views, their perspective, their social environment…to find the beauty in the “abstract”.

    For me, perhaps a bit of being selfish, the first viewer to be satisfied is ME ! 😊


    • VN, it sounds like you’re describing haiku. If that’s what’s happening with my snaps, then I’m most definitely on the right track.


  7. From Joanna:

    …the first photo caption that immediately came to mind was “you make me feel like a natural woman”…very inspired photos – your cubist period.


  8. Dick..some where it is written “the creator knows what he/she sees through the camera’s lens”-author unknown. Keep on creating My Brother. I appreciate and enjoy the karma of your photos.


  9. I’m not sure what someone means by abstract—but your photos are always, at bottom, full of humanity—no matter what the subject or subjects.

    In this batch, I particularly like Rockaway Beach.


  10. Thanks Richard,
    Abstract, reduction, simplicity…I just like ’em!
    ‘specially Rockaway, the texture and tones of BSG, patterns and balance of Flea Market. and the familiarity of the mis en scene; as I live on the same block as you. Love your enthusiasm. Thanks, DS


  11. I particularly like you at Broadway and the store window. I always find your pictures very interesting.


  12. From Phyllis:

    okay i love the first picture of man’s back , liked second and third also. Christie’s revolving door is a knockout
    losing track, can’t remember but those were particularly tiptop


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