Category Archives: Lower Manhattan

New York/Governors Island

Mark di Suvero on Governor’s Island — © Brian Rose

Back in New York after five days in Virginia. My father is hanging on at 90 years old. I spent much of the past week visiting him in the hospital, and then as soon as I get back, my son Brendan ends up in the ER with a badly sprained ankle. Before that happened we went out to Governor’s Island in New York Harbor. The Mark di Suvero sculptures currently on display around the island are magnificent.

I just received word today that one of my photographs is on display at the Museum of Modern Art. I’ll go tomorrow and take a look.

New York/Ground Zero

Fireman’s Memorial, Greenwich Street — © Brian Rose

The President was in New York last week in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden.  He lunched with firemen from a company that lost men on 9/11 and greeted families of others who died at ground zero.  I went downtown on Friday, a couple of days after Obama’s visit, to see how things were going. One World Trade Center appears now to be sixty or more stories high, and the above ground part of the 9/11 memorial and museum is being rushed to completion. Just a few months ago it was a steel skeleton–now it is mostly enclosed.  I made several photographs with the view camera in the area just south of Liberty Street near the Fireman’s Memorial. I also snapped a few shots with my digital camera.

Tourists jammed the sidewalk near the Fireman’s Memorial, and possibly because of Obama’s recent visit, there were lots of flowers and pictures placed along the wall of the memorial. There were no such items the last few times I’d been there. A tour guide led a large group of out-of-towers by the memorial and I heard her refer to those “murdered” on 9/11. There was a thinly veiled anger conveyed by the use of the word murder. Yes, it’s true that those killed when the planes were crashed into the towers were, technically speaking, murdered in an act of violence. As are any victims of terrorism worldwide. And what about the innocent victims of unjustified wars? I’m not interested in a moral equivalency argument here. It’s clear enough what happened on 9/11. I just  think it is better to tone down the rhetoric.

On the 6 train in Lower Manhattan — © Brian Rose

On the subway heading back uptown, I saw a construction worker from the World Trade Center site. His hardhat was decorated with stickers, one for the 9/11 memorial and an another with a flag and the Twin Towers.

New York/Osama bin Laden

Twin Towers, 1980 (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose/Ed Fausty

Osama bin Laden killed in Pakistan. Nine years and seven months after 9/11.

Although I share a degree of the elation demonstrated by the crowds that gathered near the White House and at Times Square last night, I’ve lived long enough to know that these moments are all too fleeting. I remember well when the Berlin Wall opened–I was there a few weeks afterwards to photograph its rapid destruction. And I remember the feeling that the world had changed forever, that freedom had won out over authoritarianism. That the long shadow of World War II had finally been lifted off of central Europe.

Twelve years later, Osama bin Laden and his terrorist hit men flew airplanes into the World Trade Center  and another shadow descended. September 11th, and our reaction to it, led to an unjustified war in Iraq, torture, and the weakening of our economy–call it Bin Laden’s decade-long victory. Feel free to argue otherwise, but I do not think history will support it. Bin Laden’s death does not end that saga, but it offers, at least symbolically, the possibility that we can move forward again, after falling back.

Undoubtedly, those who were directly touched by 9/11 will feel that justice has been served, though I doubt that closure is an appropriate word to describe their (our) ongoing loss. I think, especially, of my friend Jack Hardy, the songwriter, whose brother was killed in one of the towers. Jack died in March of cancer. Were he here today, I do not think he would find much solace in bin Laden’s demise.

Twin Towers facade montage — © Brian Rose

For me, it is a moment  of mixed emotions. I have spent a good deal of my life as a photographer focused, by design or by accident, on these two watershed events, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the destruction of the World Trade Center. They are two of the most important events of our time. I have books on these subjects, whole bodies of work. With today’s news I have this rare sense of being momentarily at the center of things, that my work connects to the flow of history. And yet, just as quickly, I feel history rushing forward and slipping from my grasp.

New York/Hudson Square

Hudson Street — © Brian Rose

Have been working on another grant application–this time with the Design Trust for Public Space. They have commissioned photographers in the past to explore different aspects of the urban landscape. This year the theme is “five borough farm,” a project to survey and document urban agriculture around the city. The stipend is only $5,000, but one is also assured of an exhibition and publication. Just one photographer selected. I’d be perfect for this.

Last night I went to the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in Greenwich Village to see Suzanne Vega perform her musical play “Carson McCullers Talks About Love.” Years ago, Suzanne worked up a monologue based on the character of the author Carson McCullers–one of several female personalities that she has been drawn to, or taken inspiration from. It was, at that time, a minor but affecting performance.  She has now developed the idea into an ambitious portrayal of the writer with songs and music co-written with Duncan Sheik. The songs exhibit many of the familiar melodic and lyrical qualities of earlier Vega music; some are complete stand-alone songs; others are intended more to support the narrative of the play. At least that’s my take on hearing them for the first time.

Suzanne assumes the character of Carson McCullers, with whom she shares a striking resemblance. She walks on stage as herself, gives a short introduction, and then dons a wig and removes her makeup at a mirror to better resemble the tomboyish McCullers. Like her earlier McCullers performance, it is essentially a monologue, but now there is occasional verbal interplay with a pianist and guitarist who remain on stage throughout the play.

It is not necessary to have read Carson McCullers to appreciate the play, though it certainly doesn’t hurt to be familiar with her work and that of other mid-century American authors who she came in contact with, or compares herself to. One song, in fact, is full of boasts about how she, McCullers, is better than Harper Lee. Although there is sadness and tragedy in McCullers’ personal story, Vega portrays her with a good deal of feisty wit and bravado.

For Suzanne, doing this play is a labor of love, beautifully realized, bestowed upon the audience.

New York/Union Square

The Andy Monument, Broadway at Union Square Park — © Brian Rose

Union Square Park is home to some of the finest sculptures in New York City. These are mostly traditional likenesses of important historical figures like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Marquis De Lafayette, and Mahatma Gandhi. The Lafayette statue was made by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi (1834–1904), who also designed the Statue of Liberty  in New York Harbor. Although the park is often associated with the labor movement because it has frequently been the location of parades and political rallies, the name comes from the “union” of two major streets, Broadway and the Bowery Road, now called 4th Avenue. In the days after the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, Union Square, in the plaza surrounding the Washington equestrian sculpture, became the site of one of the largest spontaneous memorials in the city.

The area around the park has gone through many ups and downs over the years, but in the 1970s it was considerably less vibrant economically than today. I remember the park in the late 70s as one big open air drug bazar, and few people who lived and worked around Union Square stepped foot in it. As is often the case in New York, however, depressed circumstances create opportunities for others. Artists, ever nomadic, found the lofts around the park cheap and spacious. One of them was Andy Warhol, the Pop Art icon of the era.  He and his “Factory” located on Union Square, became  a nexus of art, fashion, music, and commerce.

The Andy Monument, Broadway at Union Square Park — © Brian Rose

It is appropriate, therefore, that a statue be erected to the real and mythic Andy at the confluence of two of New York’s earliest and most important highways. As I came across the chrome Andy Monument the other day on a silvery gray day, the statue seemed almost ethereal in the mist and drizzle. Unlike the other bronze statues in Union Square, which express solidity and historical weight, Andy floats vaguely, aloofly, above the throngs of shoppers and office workers passing by.

The Andy Monument, Broadway at Union Square Park — © Brian Rose

The sculpture is by Rob Pruitt and is sponsored by the Public Art Fund. Pruitt says:

Like so many other artists and performers and people who don’t fit in because they’re gay or otherwise different, Andy moved here to become who he was, to fulfill his dreams and make it big. He still represents that courage and that possibility. That’s why I came to New York, and that’s what my Andy Monument is about.

I took pictures for about five minutes. Most people walked on past, of course, but many stopped to make snapshots or read the adjacent text. It’s rare for a public sculpture to engage the public (fancy that) as much as this one does. Too bad that it is here only until October.

New York/Lower East Side

The reception at the Lower East Side Visitor Center went well. A mixture of invited guests and people passing through as part of Third Thursdays, a once a month evening when the galleries in the neighborhood stay open later. The prints look great on the wall, and they will be up through April 21. Drop in at 54 Orchard Street, ground floor.

Next up is my slide talk at the Mid-Manhattan library on March 29. I will be presenting Time and Space on the Lower East Side, and I am hoping that Ed Fausty, who I collaborated with on the 1980 photographs, will be present. Ed is working on an exhibition and catalog for a beautiful series of photographs on the landscape and night sky. Unlike anything anybody else has done. I’ll write about it once it’s up.

The following photos were snapped yesterday on my way to and from my LES  exhibit.

Orchard and Grand Streets — © Brian Rose

Delancey Street — © Brian Rose

Eldridge Street — © Brian Rose

New York/NEA Survey Grants

Book cover with images by Bill Owens and Joe Deal

Final comments on Mark’s Rice’s Lens of the City, NEA Photography Survey of the 70s. I was a participant in one of these surveys in 1981. Scroll down for other posts.

Much of the book is spent exploring the art/documentary dichotomy, which was highly controversial during the years that the NEA funded survey project between 1976 and 1981. Many of the commissioned photographers operated in a traditional documentary manner–a  sort of long form of photo journalism. But others, the ones we are most likely to know about today, were working under different precepts. These photographers, Robert Adams, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, among others, created images that were factual but neutral, allusive rather than didactic–and it was understood that photographic truth was by its nature contingent.

Photograph by Robert Adams

Many critics and viewers were unsatisfied with photography that did not “tell,” but rather suggested, or simply raised an eyebrow. It would seem that the result of all the projects funded by the NEA was an unfocused, discursive view of the American urban scene. Certainly, the project I was involved with–photographing the Lower Manhattan in 1981–was a curious mixed bag of photographic styles and approaches. Ed Fausty and I, working together and later alone, were the youngest of our group, and we were working in color with a view camera while the rest were shooting in black and white with small cameras. I don’t remember the other photographers’ work except for Larry Fink who photographed the hurly-burly atmosphere on the floor of the stock exchange.

Photograph by Lee Friedlander

Photograph by Joel Meyerowitz

The NEA projects may have been uneven in quality, but individual photographers often did exemplary, even groundbreaking, work. Several of the projects funded the work of single photographers with noteworthy results. Joel Meyerowitz’s St. Louis and the Arch and Lee Friedlander’s Factory Valleys were among the finest explorations of the urban landscape of their era. Friedlander’s project extended beyond place by incorporating images of people and the machines they operated. These are some of his strongest photographs–formally arresting, as always, but simultaneously expressive of the human condition.

In the end, the NEA survey grants were killed not so much by disagreement about what constituted art vs. documentary photography, but by the ascendancy of conservative politics. It did not matter that the survey grants were administered by local institutions and communities, nor did it matter that the grants were required to find matching funding from private sources. The survey grants ended with Ronald Reagan’s election, and in a few years, the individual artists’ grants would also be eliminated.  We have had a neutered and ineffectual National Endowment for the Arts ever since.

Government funding of the arts will always be problematic, but when art is left primarily to the galleries whose interests tend toward protecting relatively small stables of brand names, the result is brutally Darwinian. Meanwhile, the schools keep churning out MFA grads, and a cottage industry built on webzines, blogs, contests and portfolio reviews picks up the slack, sometimes receiving funding from the NEA and private benefactors. But where is the support for individual artists? When I think of the burst of work done during the few years of the NEA survey grants–made for a minuscule fraction of the NEA’s budget of around $150 million in 1980–well, it’s obvious that our priorities are a tad skewed.

I don’t recall exactly how much money I got to do my photographs of Lower Manhattan. Maybe $2,500. At the time I was 27 years old, and it seemed like a fortune.

New York/NEA Survey Grants

Dorothea Lange photographs, the Museum of Modern Art — © Brian Rose

I’ve been reading Through the Lens of the City, NEA Photography Surveys of the 1970s by Mark Rice. A few comments mid-stream.

The NEA survey grants were an outgrowth of a proposal championed by Walter Mondale to commemorate the U.S. bicentennial by commissioning photographers to create a visual documentation of America along the lines of the work done by the FSA in the 1930s. That initiative died of politics, but the National Endowment for the Arts picked up the ball themselves and established the survey program that ran for several years.

In all of this, there were lots of arguments about what kind of documentary photography was desired. The work done by Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange–and many others–were recognized as the paradigm, but perhaps for the wrong reasons, or as the result of misunderstandings. Lange produced iconic images that sought to ennoble the poor farmers she photographed. And Evans was attracted to the humble vernacular structures of the south. His intellectual clarity transcended the nostalgic nature of the subject matter, and his evenhanded visual discipline provided a way to show places, things, and people which would otherwise remain invisible. Both Lange and Evans–as different from each other as they were–defined a new hybrid kind of photography that was both document and art.

The America the FSA photographers presented was a narrow view of society, intentionally of course, as part of the mandate of the Farm Security Administration. What the bicentennial project envisioned was something more ambitious, but nevertheless rooted in the FSA style of documentation, and preferably directed by someone with the strong vision of the FSA’s Roy Stryker. When the NEA took over the idea, they set up a more diverse and geographically dispersed structure. Hence there were survey projects scattered all over the United States, and unlike the rural based FSA photography, most were focused on urban areas.

From the Brooklyn Bridge, 1981 (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose/Ed Fausty

By the time I was asked to participate in the Lower Manhattan project, the survey program had just about run its course. I had just completed photographing the Lower East Side with collaborator Ed Fausty, so naturally I–we–jumped at the chance to extend the project further. I don’t think we ever had a sense of what the bigger context was, that this was one of dozens of similar survey projects in other communities. In the end, ours was a failed project. There was no book or catalog, only an exhibition in Federal Hall on Wall Street that was not critically reviewed. As far as I know none of the work was placed in an archive for future research or perusal.

The work Ed and I did together or separately ended it up in boxes. It’s clear, however, in putting together the series of images for WTC, my book about the World Trade Center, that we were onto something.

New York/Wall Street

Wall Street, 1981 (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

Although I’ve been posting photographs of the World Trade Center made in 1981, I also did lots of photographs of Lower Manhattan that did not include the constantly looming Twin Towers. And not all were sweeping views of the skyline like so many of the images in my WTC book. The picture above was made one evening on Wall Street, the spire of Trinity Church in the background echoed nicely by the icons on the Johnny Walker billboard. “Moon Can’t Be Deported” refers to Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church who was in trouble because of tax fraud.

In the midst of the current drama in Egypt there was an article in the Times this morning about a possible merger between the Frankfurt exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. In practical terms such a merger would only highlight the increasingly international nature of finance. When I took the photograph above, trading was mostly done directly on the floor of the nearby stock exchange. But symbolically, this could be a big deal–a perceived loss of prestige–and it will be interesting to see how it plays out politically.

I am still reading Lens of the City, which tells the history of the documentary survey grants made by the National Endowment for the Arts in the late 70s and early 80s. My Lower Manhattan pictures were funded by one of those NEA grants. Comments and thoughts to come soon.

Showed my work to Robert Mann the gallery owner–someone I’ve stayed in touch with over the years. He likes my work a lot, and will keep me in mind as things go along. Meanwhile, I keep schlepping my portfolio around.

New York/Lower Manhattan

Maiden Lane from the FDR Drive, 1981 — © Brian Rose/Ed Fausty

Google street view of Maiden Lane from the FDR Drive

In the previous post I began discussing Through the Lens of the City, NEA Photography Surveys of the 1970s by Mark Rice. From 1978 to 1981 the National Endowment for the Arts funded documentary photography projects around the country. I was a participant in the Lower Manhattan survey, which began in 1981. In the appendix of the book is a list of all the surveys, but my name (and Ed Fausty’s) is not included among the photographers doing the New York project.

The quick explanation is that one of the original participants, Evelyn Hofer, was unable to take part–for reasons I can’t recall. Although my memory is fuzzy, I believe that Sy Rubin, another of the photographers, asked me and Ed Fausty to step in. Sy, who at that time ran the Midtown Y photography gallery–an important gallery and photographer’s clubhouse–knew us from the Lower East Side project, and was one of the organizers of the Lower Manhattan survey. I am only one of many photographers mentored by Sy Rubin, a man of great generosity with a discerning eye. Sy Rubin died a few years ago.

The Lower Manhattan survey project was eventually exhibited in 1984 at Federal Hall on Wall Street. I have not been able to find much about it on the internet, but here is an article that ran in the New York Times–and proof that Ed Fausty and I were indeed included:

It is interesting that Lower Manhattan is described in the article as humming with activity, “more so recently – when it seems never to shut down – than in past years when keyed to office hours.” It is true that artists had moved into many of the smaller commercial structures of the area, but compared to the present, the Financial District was desolate after hours and on weekends. Moreover, there are no longer any “musty, narrow byways.” Narrow streets, yes–one of the pleasures of walking the area is retracing the original Dutch layout of New Amsterdam. But musty, no. The picture above was taken from the roadway of the FDR Drive on a Sunday morning. Try doing that now.

New York/Lower Manhattan

Trinity churchyard (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

The images of the World Trade Center recently posted were not made as a specific project to photograph the Twin Towers and the WTC complex. They come from a more comprehensive look at Lower Manhattan that I did with Ed Fausty in 1981 and 1982. Ed and I–after the Lower East Side project–were asked to participate in a photographic survey sponsored by the Seaman’s Church Institute and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. We began working together, as we had previously, but eventually finished the project separately.

The image above of the Trinity churchyard on Broadway–made in early 1981–was taken shortly after a ticker tape parade welcoming home the diplomats held hostage in Iran in the wake of the Iranian revolution. It should be noted that events presently unfolding in Egypt echo that event. An authoritarian government stands on the brink while millions demonstrate in the street. In Iran the widely unified opposition to the Shah gave rise to the religious extremism of the Ayatollahs. There is hope that things will turn out better in Egypt.

Since digging into my Lower Manhattan archive I’ve been doing a little research on how that project came about. I came across a book published in 2005 called Through the Lens of the City, NEA Photography Surveys of the 1970s. It’s written by Mark Rice, a historian, and tells the story of the short-lived grant program intended to produce a portrait of American urban life. I recall doing the project without a great deal of background knowledge on how my work, and the five other photographers involved, fit into the bigger scheme. This book will fill in the gaps.

I will comment more once I’ve read further, but first, let’s look at the appendix for a list of all the projects.


No Brian Rose or Ed Fausty. Down the memory hole again. To be continued…

New York/WTC

Smith Street, Brooklyn (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

I finally got the film back from the subway trip to Smith Street in the area near the Gowanus Canal. The image in WTC was from my small digital camera–the one above is from a 4×5 negative. Several pictures I took there are usable, but I think I will stick with this view.

West Street (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

This is the 4×5 version of an image posted earlier show 1 WTC and 7 WTC in the center.

Info kiosk with 1 and 7 WTC (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

I will update my WTC book with the images above and the two below. I’ve felt that the series needed strengthening near the end. These should do the trick.

At this point, unless something unexpected happens with a publisher, I am planning on putting this book out on Blurb in two sizes–the full size 11×13 hardcover and an 8×10 hard and softcover. The smaller books will sell for $45 to $55 as opposed to $100 plus for the larger size. From an aesthetic standpoint, the 11×13 best conveys the monumental nature of the subject, but the small book will look good, too. All three of my self-produced books will be available in the 8×10 format including Time and Space on the Lower East Side and Berlin: In from the Cold.

I’ll post a new link to the updated book once it’s ready. Link here.

New York/Ground Zero

Greenwich Street, Fireman’s Memorial  (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

Church Street, St. Paul’s Chapel Churchyard (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose

Earlier this week I picked up the film from my two days of shooting around ground zero. So these are scans of 4×5 film. Despite difficult snowy conditions, and a 30 second exposure for the evening shot, both negatives are razor sharp. The tall building at center of both images is One World Trade Center. The sweeping view of the site made next to the Fireman’s Memorial was, until a few weeks ago, blocked by the remnants of the Deutsche Bank building behind the blue fence to the left. I’m very pleased with these images and intend to work them into the WTC book. Stay tuned for several more images.

It’s taken me a while to get these up because I had jury duty–two days on call–didn’t get picked. A jury of your peers in Manhattan can be a pretty rarefied group. A hundred of us were taken into a courtroom for jury selection and 18 were interviewed by the prosecution and defense attorney. You were asked to respond to basic questions about career, education, and family. 17 of the 18 in that first group had college degrees. Many had masters degrees. The jury was selected before I had a chance to be interviewed. It was an armed robbery.

New York/WTC

Vesey Street — © Brian Rose

I went back to the WTC site yesterday and spent much of the day there–mostly in three spots. It was a cold cloudy day with snow occasionally falling. Conditions like that make using the view camera difficult, but it was not so extreme as to be unmanageable. I started out in the area around the Path Train station adjacent to 7 WTC, the one element of the new World Trade Center already completed. Tourists milled about an info kiosk, looked at the various renderings and photos plastered to construction fencing, and craned their necks up at 1 WTC, now more than 50 stories high.

Information Kiosk — © Brian Rose

Transportation Center rendering, Vesey Street — © Brian Rose

St. Paul’s churchyard — © Brian Rose

St. Paul’s Chapel survived 9/11 relatively unscathed including the historic gravestones in its churchyard. The sign at the bottom of the photo above shows the spire of the church situated between the former Twin Towers. I did several photographs in the churchyard and then headed back to my studio to warm up and get more film.

Fireman’s Memorial, Greenwich Street — © Brian Rose

When I returned to ground zero the snow had picked up. I did several views in the area around the Fireman’s Memorial. The Deutsche Bank building, which has taken almost ten years to demolish, is now down to the last floor, opening up a panoramic vista of skyscrapers including 1 WTC going up at center of the photo above. I made this iamge by holding my digital camera against the top of the view camera. The exposures with the 4×5 were in the 15 seconds to 1 minute range. Could be snow on the lens, so we’ll see how things turn out when I get the film back.

I am hoping that a few of these images can be incorporated into the WTC book bringing the narrative up to 2011.

New York/WTC

West Street — © Brian Rose

I went downtown this afternoon just after a light snowfall. It was cold, but tolerable and not overly windy. I did several shots with the view camera, one similar to the image above. 1 WTC is now over 50 floors up–almost as high as the adjacent 7 WTC. Visually double the height, and add a spire. That’s how tall this building will be when completed.

I may go back tomorrow. The Deutsche Bank building, which was damaged on 9/11, is now down to its last floor or two. It has taken this long because of a series of delays caused by the discovery of human remains, complicated asbestos removal, an accident, and a fatal fire. The building’s absence opens up new vistas on the overall site and removes a curse–if you believe such things–from ground zero.

My WTC book proposal will be reviewed by a publisher next week. Keep your fingers crossed–if you believe such things. See the book here.

New York/WTC

Lower Manhattan Skyline, 1982 (4×5 film) — © Brian Rose and Ed Fausty

This is lower Manhattan at its most heroic and romantic seen from the upper floor of a building in Brooklyn Heights. Since 1982, several bulky buildings have blocked up the foreground and obscured the thin spires of the early 20th century–and of course, the Twin Towers are gone. 1 World Trade Center is about 50 floors up now, and soon it will begin to rise above everything else.

After receiving a hardcopy version of WTC, my new book proposal concerning the World Trade Center, I decided to make a few changes. Text smaller, a few sequence tweaks, and a new end piece. I also created a text page opposite the image of the Deutsche Bank building, a cursed structure if ever there was one, only now about to fully demolished. It needed some explication.

I am reaching out to everyone I can about the book. I have some very good contacts, but limited. I need someone to come through for me on this. Otherwise, I’m not sure how this book will see the light of day.

The new version of WTC can be previewed here.

New York/WTC Book

Front cover of WTC — © Brian Rose

I’ve more or less finished with the first draft of WTC, my photo book about the World Trade Center. Like so much I’ve been doing lately I have no idea what the outcome of it all will be. This ought to be a “popular” book, but it’s an oblique glance rather than a series of straight on architectural views. The fact is, none of the earlier photos were ever intended to be primarily about the WTC or the Twin Towers. Only the later pictures, the ground zero views, and the found vernacular images of the Twin Towers were consciously made as such. In many ways the book is about memory and the ephemeral presence of the towers on the skyline. My favorite illustration of the Twin Towers is the New Yorker cover done by Art Spiegelman–black towers against a black background. They are barely visible.

New Yorker cover by Art Spiegelman

The book is comprised of a number of different sections corresponding to time period and camera format. The earliest pictures were made in the late ’70s on 35mm Kodachrome, the ’80s pictures were made on 4×5 film, and most of the recent ground zero photos were done on 4×5. The post 9/11 Twin Towers collection was mostly done with a digital pocket camera, either a Ricoh GR or Sigma DP1. It’s interesting to see them together in a book all printed at the same scale despite coming from drastically different file sizes.

Close up of the skin of WTC tower — © Brian Rose

To break up the parts, or chapters, of the book, I’ve made made tightly cropped images of the skin of the Twin Towers–the pin striping that made the buildings seem to shimmer or appear slightly fuzzy from a distance. These cropped images bleed to the edges of the page and act as dividers.

Close up of the skin of WTC tower — © Brian Rose

I haven’t decided whether to make the book public on Blurb as yet, but I will make it semi-public here on my blog. Take a look. Any feedback is, of course, appreciated. Be kind. I’ve put days and days into this not counting the shooting itself. Be sure to look at the full screen preview.