13 June 2007 «
About a year and a half ago, E and I took a trip to the National Zoo in D.C. to see their new baby panda. It was there that I took this picture (a slightly different version of which once appeared on a slightly different version of this blog):
It wasn't taken casually - though on vacation, I went to the zoo with camera in hand - but like the best pictures it was a bit of a surprise. I posted it here and sort of let it go, but over the course of the year more than one person has reminded me of it. Many photos I dislike, or become bored with, after multiple viewings. But this one grew on me. As someone who has wrestled, and has had some success and many failures, with "straight" photography (a term I remain uneasy with), I consider this to be one of my peaks.
Which brings me to my new project, documenting the animals in the New York City zoos (there's one zoo for each borough in New York, not counting the Queens Farm and New York Aquarium, which I'll be photographing at as well). Normally, when I begin a series, I shoot, edit, and print, occasionally getting feedback from some valued eyes, but I try to finish the series before I include it in my portfolio, post it here, etc. This will be different, as I'll be posting pictures while I'm shooting the series.
In our age of blogs, my hesitancy to post something the instant after I take it might seem quaint. But I believe in the value of editing, of sitting on photos and letting them simmer (values that have gone the way of the dodo on most photo blogs, but that's for another post). So this whole posting while shooting thing is a bit of a risk. But I'm excited to see if it can be done. (Actually, I know it can be done. Todd Deutsch's bi-weekly photos of his family are great examples of thoughtful, well-edited photos that still take advantage of the power of blogs. His is a model I'm hoping to emulate.)
I'll start with a few I've already shot, and then every week or so I'll be posting a new picture until I think the series is done (or I just give up). if you click on the pictures link above, there will be another link specifically for the animals photos (a better title of which I have yet to think of). Hopefully I'll have an rss feed for them as well (that'll be a good rainy day project). Comments will be open for the pictures, so don't hold back.