BY ROBERT FALCONER
"No urban night is like the night there... Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will." — Ezra Pound
I had never visited New York City before this year. Certainly I’d grown up with it; its gravity as a center of politics, history, culture — and, for myself at least, popular culture — always permeating the North American zeitgeist. From the nascent days of 1950s and '60s television, to the realms of fashion, theater, journalism, and yes, photography, New York represents a nexus of art and commerce like few places on earth.
This is where the Gatsbys, Rockefellers, Raskobs, Chryslers, Astors — so many of the titans of early American industry and culture — staked claims, built fortunes, and in a few cases, erected totems to their accomplishments.
Clearly, such a metropolis is a logical destination for any photographer worth their salt, then.
I was also there to attend — and participate on behalf of Fujifilm in — PhotoPlus Expo 2017, the largest photographic conference and exhibition in North America.
Wanting to ensure that I had a capable camera kit, but also wanting to travel as light as possible, I elected to take the Fujifilm X100F in a very small kit that also included the TCL-X100 and WCL-X100, an UltraPod tripod, a cable release, an extra battery, a Lens Pen, and a couple of additional memory cards—almost certainly one of the most diminutive kits I’ve ever traveled with.
I made the decision from the beginning that I would restrict myself to the 28/35/50 focal lengths for this journey. Perhaps Ironically, I ended up using the 35mm focal length only; every image on this page and in the attached gallery was shot at 35mm. In fact, teaching oneself to see from a single vantage point is never a bad exercise. Were there times where I would have liked to have had a longer or wider perspective? Certainly. But not often. And I never felt particularly handicapped. This is part of the magic of the X100 series cameras; professional level results in a small [retro] form factor.
From the city’s heavy art deco influence seen in structures like the Empire State Building or the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, to the frenetic pace of the streets and all the “characters” who inhabit them, New York is unlike any other city in the world. Though I only had about a week there, I decided merely to wander, and to photograph according to my muse. There was no agenda, only the impulse to observe light, shadow, form…and humanity, and capture it wherever and whenever it made sense. The images here and in the gallery linked to at the top of this page are the result. Of course, one week is insufficient time to get to everything, and there are many things I would like to return and photograph during a future visit. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this small taste of the vast visual diversity that is New York City...