This trip was one I have anticipated for many years and had many expectations for. The truth is, you’re unable to have expectations for a city like New York as it unfolds everyday in such an unpredictable manner. It is impossible to accurately capture and describe the city visually, textually or orally. The romanticization of New York City has existed for more than a century, our means of media have helped this gain momentum. We are saturated by images and seldom take the time to observe everyday life. Street photography allows the viewer to see selective moments of the everyday through another individual’s perspective.
Every street photographer that I truly admire has shot primarily in New York City using black & white film, more often than not, also shooting with a Leica M series camera. The expectations I had for New York City grew from these moments of the past that had been captured by like-minded individuals.
The following photographs are a result of my attempt to visually translate my experience in New York City from June 3rd, 2018 to June 8th, 2018. I’ve chosen to only include B&W photographs for this book as I feel they are most strongly representative of the histories associated with NYC street photography. The following images were shot using Ilford HP5 35mm black and white film on my Leica M6 TTL. The film was brought back to Canada, hand-developed and digitized by me in my makeshift darkroom.
- Justice Colwell
Signs of the Times
Signs of the Times is a 42 page, full-colour photo book featuring photographs of different signage throughout my personal travels between March of 2017 & March of 2018. All photographs were shot using 35mm colour film and remain unedited with the exception of cropping. Each book is individually embellished throughout by using various drawing implements, collage techniques, original photographs among other approaches.
The relationship between the photographs found on each set of pages offer the viewer additional insight into the imagery, this can be found through symbolism, form, colour, size or subject matter. Signage offers an abundance of information about a particular time and place, they allow us to see the past while simultaneously remaining present and reveal details about our collective history that is indispensable.
These are the photographs contained in my 2016 photo book Canadian Flaneur, which contains 92 photographs from my travels throughout Canada in 2016, all of which were taken using 35mm B&W film on my Minolta X-700.
1st Edition - 5 copies.
These are the images contained in my 2016 photo book Acquisitions.
It Is What It Is
It Is What It Is is an artist book I created in spring of 2017. These are the individual pages of the work, all of which are film photographs that were digitized, printed and then combined with writing, collage, painting, drawing, et cetera. An original edition of 5 books were produced using colour offset printing.
Great Uncle Fred's Views
Great Uncle Fred's Views is a 3 postcard set created in 2017. It features 3 different postcards, all of which offer a view that was shot by my great uncle Fred. Each is fixed with a stamp that was created with Canada Post, using a portrait of my great uncle Fred with his camera. The stamps are legal and can be sent within Canada for an indefinite time period.
I inherited his large slide collection when he passed away and was struck by the quantity and quality of his photographs. He was a trucker for most of his life and travelled Canada very extensively.
I was particularly fond of these 3 photographs as they were shot on infrared slide film during the daytime which gives them the pink quality as infrared film was intended to be shot in the dark.
This work to me is seen as a collaboration with my great uncle Fred and a homage of sorts, one that commemorates his photographs and gives them the audience they deserve.
3 postcard set with belly-bind, edition of 50,
Bikes of Halifax
Bikes of Halifax is an ongoing black and white film photograph project that has been underway since 2016.
Light/Sight is an 8-fold zine (using only a single, double-sided sheet of paper) I created in December of 2016.
After experimenting using 35mm B&W film at night, this zine functions as a document of that experimentation. The zine was exhibited in the Anna Leonowens gallery originally and then were distributed using various other methods after the exhibition.