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July 23rd, 2008, 06:06 AM
July 22, 2008, 7:02 pm

Neighbors | Downtown Double Take

By The New York Times (http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/author/nytimes/)

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/07/22/nyregion/23lens_533_cityroom.jpgPhotograph by Damon Winter/The New York Times

For a fleeting moment, a view of ground zero, reflected in the polished marble facade of the Millenium Hilton, stirs a memory of the twin towers, giving the second image, a view of Lower Manhattan from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, a ghostly sense of completeness.

In the current Lens photograpy series, running through September, Damon Winter of The Times uses double exposures to capture the endless juxtapositions in New York City.


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

July 23rd, 2008, 06:30 AM
Lens | Neighbors

Making Disparate Pieces Fit Together

Published: June 18, 2008

New York is a city of endless juxtapositions. In its streets, buildings, parks and rivers, in its neighborhoods, boroughs and blocks, the city conducts an unflagging symphony of collisions. Cultures, religions and ideas cross paths, live side by side, and bounce off each other like the molecules that fill our bodies.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/06/18/nyregion/lensdomino650.jpgDamon Winter/The New York Times
Residents and activists opposed to turning the former Domino sugar plant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, into condos strung “Save Domino” on the side of the Esquire Building. Blocks away, domino has a different meaning for Esli Gonzalez, who takes part in a regular game. He has lived in the neighborhood for 58 years.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/06/18/nyregion/lens01650.jpgDamon Winter/The New York Times
A detail of “Metroptic,” by Chris Soria, is exposed onto film in the shaded form of a Hasidic man walking past the whitewashed walls of the Satmar synagogue in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Capturing these collisions, which can range from the delightful to the absurd, in a single image presents a daunting challenge for a photographer. One solution is to use double exposures: taking two distinct photographs on the same piece of film.

The best way to accomplish this is using a large-format camera and sheet film, which can be loaded into the camera, exposed, safely removed, stored and loaded again.

After taking the first photo, I usually draw a sketch of the image from memory showing the light and dark areas and the position of the main subject in the frame. When I am ready to make the second image, sometimes hours, days or even weeks later, I reload the film into the camera and use the sketch of the first exposure as a guide for composing the second.

Even with the sketch as a guide, making double exposures is like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle without seeing the pieces. It essentially comes down to trial and error and a little serendipity for the two scenes to join together in a delicate tangle of photographic osmosis.

The idea for the series was inspired in part by the fascinating dualities in my own neighborhood, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The bottom photograph at left combines an image from the tight-knit enclave of Hasidic Jews south of the Williamsburg Bridge and street art from the bustling community of urban hipsters to its north. At top left, a “Save Domino” sign strung in lights on the side of the Esquire building by residents hoping to prevent the old Domino sugar factory from becoming the next condo conversion emerges from the scene of the marathon domino games that Puerto Rican residents play almost daily a few blocks away.


Copyright 2008 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)