Boring, boring, fucking boring… then something happens. That pretty much sums up the life of a photographer involved in day-to-day news coverage. The moments that lead up to a shot can be agonizing but inversely seen as a chance to discover and capture unplanned occurrences. This set of images was taken over the course of several years during down time on humbling daily assignments. They have little to do with aesthetic but do evoke mood, in turn creating their own aesthetic. Roaming the landscape of New York City with one ear plugged into a police scanner while the other listens to the engulfing streets. Occasionally the skies open up and pictures fall out. Many hours can be spent staring at a building or sitting in a car watching the world pass by in all its hectic fury. Most people are skeptical of your camera and the weather hates you. At night you’re isolated and locked out. The nagging feeling of getting a call to respond keeps you from ordering a beer and builds up the anxiety. You see nature coping with its surroundings in urban landscapes. Reflections and shapes appear in beams of light waiting to be frozen in time. You’re immersed in the world with a task to create something by chance. Work at it long enough and chance fades away to probability, probability kills chance and you’re left with definitive proof that you exist. Make something out of nothing and time doesn’t feel wasted. “An artist is always alone if he is an artist.” – Henry Miller
This is a collection of photos mainly associated with the 2013 New York City mayoral campaign and various political events of similar nature from 2012. I occasionally cover politics, more specifically politics in New York City.
I see the players and actors. I see them pose and pretend but once in awhile their true characteristics become obvious. Whether it be a distinct emphasis on physical traits or inner thoughts manifest in gesture and facial expression, their intentions become apparent, sometimes genuine sometimes nefarious. It’s up to the viewer and can never be proven or disproved.
Sometimes you have to look closer than policy to understand the politician. Ask yourself why are they positioned a certain way or what surrounds them. What points are they trying to get across to the voter base that connects personality and agenda. Some of these people have been on top and stumbled to the ground, others have seen decades pass before their eyes before they themselves passed. Some are new to the race and others have suffered for their cause or transgression.
I’ve taken these photos as honest as possible in a dishonest society. I’ve by no means covered the entire scope of NYC politics but have seen a glimpse. Lies and deception, honesty and truth, false hopes and attainable reconstruction, all jumbled up into one comedic mass media worm burrowing through the brain of anyone who will listen. There will always be politics in one form or another and at the epicenter of these structures will be human emotion pushing and pulling.
Ukrainian protesters gathered Sunday afternoon in front of the Ukrainian United Nations Mission in midtown Manhattan. The protesters are calling for the resignation of Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich after failing to sign a crucial trade agreement with the European Union. Pressure and sanction threats from Moscow are believed to be the key reasons Yanukovich chose not to move forward with the deal. Though this protest lasted only an hour, thousands of protesters in Kiev have been holding mass anti-government demonstrations in the streets and taking over government buildings.
By: Michael Hicks
Despair is a poetically illusive emotion, digging in its jagged claws well before the feeling descends into a person psyche. Photographing moments of despair weigh heavy on any photojournalist. Is capturing the decisive moment frozen in history more important than the feelings of the individual going through a traumatic experience? Or does their despair pass on to you for a brief moment or in some cases a lifetime? Feeling the despair of others can change very quickly into outrage but outrage can very easily be filtered into change. Nothing can change tragic events but a lot can be learned from them. In some places tragedy is a way of daily life while elsewhere it happens less frequently. No matter where or how, tragedy spawns despair in every individual at some level. I don’t know a single photographer who is not affected by capturing moments of intense emotional despair. Some see more than others through combat situations or intense human strife. Some see despair on a daily basis through accidents or senseless acts of violence inside what is said to be “civilized society”. Either way despair hides itself well, usually resulting as the product caused by emotional progressions of misunderstanding, envy, mistrust, and eventual violence. I have photographed moments of despair, maybe not as much as others but no matter where, what, or how it always stays with you until a difference is made. This difference makes experiencing and processing the grief of others somehow worthwhile and turns despair into hope. I don’t know how else to explain it.