Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hot Dog Cart, NYC 1988

The advent of digital photography means that image making is more prevalent than ever before. We at ANS are concerned that in the flood of digital imagery viewers are saturated by the wealth of images and that meaning of images and why they exist are getting lost in the shuffle. We make no claim to "meaning" in the above image. Our investigation of the photographer has revealed that he merely passed by this scene in New York City somewhere in the Lower Manhattan area and took this image with a Nikon FM2 camera on Kodachrome transparency film in 1988.

No deeper meaning at the time than "something caught my eye so I took the picture". In 1988 the act of taking such a picture was deliberate, and the technology available then to convey it to a viewer was difficult and expensive. Only a small percentage of images such as this made it to a viewer. Usually through a vetting process for exhibit purposes. Thus a viewer was unlikely to see this image, and as a matter of fact they didn't until now.

So what is the value of this casual seeming and supposedly randomly created image. Well, it was not randomly created but certainly deliberately casual in intent. In 1988 it was not so common for amateur photographers to take images of random and non specific street scenes, with an intention for the composition and focal point to appear "casual" or non-deliberate. Thus that is the meaning and intent of this image and the point of this post.