Most people do not see the graceful forms in an old abandoned building or the interesting patterns that emerge from a pile of discarded pallets or a cracked, chipped wall.  Nor would they consider photos of these subjects as fine art.  But, I do. When I am walking the streets of Astoria, LIC Queens or anywhere for that matter, I see my world in patterns, textures, colors and designs. That is why I have chosen urban and industrial landscape imagery as the major focus of my photography. 

 I love the creative autonomy and spontaneity that this type of photography gives me. There are magical moments that happen when wandering the street and out of the corner of my eye I spot something, I’m not sure what to make of it but I see and feel that there is an image there. It could be the color, it’s placement in the scene or it’s ugliness, something. I let my imagination guide my eye and then press the shutter release. I am invigorated by the creative energy that I’m suffused in when spending the day with my camera in hand.

 I am not trying to make a photo-journalistic statement with my work I want only to present my work as I visualize it and hope that viewer’s eyes will open and appreciate this exciting, beautiful and sometimes whimsical look at the urban industrial landscape. 

As an example, everyday I ride the N or W train from Ditmars Boulevard to Manhattan and back and I have become obsessed with the roof top landscape that I see from the windows as the train runs above 31st Street.  It is a sea of satellite dishes, old and now defunct TV antennas, graffiti, junk and closed up chimneys from by gone days when the main heating system was the fireplace and all with the Manhattan skyline and the 59th Street bridge for a back drop.  Beautiful. In my head I am composing photos and trying to figure out how to get on to these roof tops (without getting arrested.)  Well, on Saturday morning on my way into the city for a swim I realized that two stations 36th and 39th Avenues have unobstructed views on the front and back of the platforms and where  I could at least start my roof top photographic odyssey.   Despite the gray skies and drizzle I had a blast finally photographing what I had been staring at for ages. I finished the day walking across the 59th Street bridge and almost made it to Manhattan when it started to pour and turned around and made my way back home.  Never did make it to the gym for a swim.  I’ve posted a few roof top and bridge  shots below. The rest of the gallery can be viewed on my website www.photobycate.com.

 Enjoy your week!!!

Laundry DayUntitledPoised for Take Off to The PastThrough the FenceManhattan...Straight Ahead

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3 thoughts on “Why I Shoot What I Shoot

  1. Hi Cate! I am visiting your blog via a comment you left on David duC.’s. I’ve enjoyed your perspective. It’s interesting to see how you find a way to shoot what you love or what intrigues you. What story do you want to tell about those rooftops?

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    1. Hi Anita,

      Thanks for the kind words and it is a pleasure meeting you.

      I think what I’m trying say about those roof tops and with my photography in general is to look beyond what you see. I see a bit of neighborhood history; a tiny peek into the daily life or lives of the people who live under those roofs; a glimpse of the future (satelliete dishes). I also see (and this is why I love photography), the abstract in the everday subject like a roof top, the metal girders of a bridge or the wonderful pattern of that day-glow orange mesh construction fencing you see all over the city. You really can shoot just about anything by letting your creative imagination run wild. Fun!

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