DISTANT JOURNEYS: Brownie Work

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Uros Islands, Lake Titicaca – Peru  1984

In the 1980s I began experimenting with an old Kodak Brownie camera that I picked up at a flea market. I was drawn to the cameras limitations – fixed focus and only one aperture setting – as a way to expand composition; foreground versus background, in focus versus out of focus, while at the same time concentrating on the boldness of color in the real world that surrounded me. I began experimenting in New York City but soon traveled to far off exotic locals to expand my palette.

To view more of Brownie click here

© David Katzenstein

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Think About It

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On the one year anniversary let’s remember who we really are as a country!

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

        – Abraham Lincoln 

To see my series on Politics & Protest click here

© David Katzenstein

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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During these unsettling times, it is important to remember and celebrate the importance of
Dr. King, both the man and his message.

The National Civil Rights Museum is housed at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. On the fateful evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray while he relaxed with friends on the balcony outside of room 306. For this series of photographs I was interested in exploring the visitor’s experience outside the museum when they first arrived, and the power of the historical visual elements that greeted them before they entered the building.

View the entire series Outside the Lorraine Motel

© David Katzenstein

50/50: Venezuela

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With Venezuela being the 50th country posted I am happy to announce that I have reached the end of my 50/50 project, sharing 50 images from 50 countries (with 50 stories). I will soon make the entire collection available in its entirety.

While on assignment in Venezuela in 2005 I traveled all night by van from Caracas due west to visit the country’s second city, Maracaibo. We arrived after sunrise exhausted and dripping from the humidity and heat, and immediately proceeded to explore this sprawling metropolis that was a respite from the gridlock and constant safety issues of Caracas. President Hugo Chavez was in office, and there were already signs of a county on the verge of collapse. This image selected here of a group of teenagers cruising in a late model US automobile, passing by political posters bathed in late afternoon sunlight tells part of the story of this rattled country.

Read more about the 50/50 project here

50/50: Argentina, Austria, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Oman, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Venezuela

GOING DOWN: Private Moments in a Public Space

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I created a series of private moments of people in a public environment, on a very busy set of escalators in a New York City mall. From a particular heightened vantage point I was able to localize individuals or groups of people as they made their descent, creating what seems like ‘film stills’ – reflective moments captured in time and space. Each image has a story behind it for the viewer to fill in the blanks. These photographs are part of a larger ongoing project entitled The Urban Landscape.

View the entire GOING DOWN series

© David Katzenstein

In Memory of CeDell Davis

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CeDell Davis – Pine Bluff, Arkansas 1988

In memory of CeDell Davis – Bluesman Who Played Guitar With a Knife, who diedon September 27 at age 91 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (June 6, 1926 -October 1, 2017). Photographed n 1988 while on assignment for Rolling Stone Magazine.

To view my Roots of the Blues project click here

© David Katzenstein

Remembrance – 9/11

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September 11, 2016 – New York City

The Firemen’s Memorial is a 1913 monument on Riverside Drive at 100th Street in Manhattan. It is a beautiful and grand memorial to firefighters who have died over the centuries. Since the devastation of September 11, 2001 this site has been the official meeting place each year by Firefighters from all five boroughs and also from visiting firefighters from all over the world. Each year on that day 1000s of men and women in uniform gather to pay tribute to those who died on that auspicious day. I began documenting the ceremonies in 2002 and have continued on and off for 15 years. The collection presented here is from September 11, 2016.

To view Remembrance – 9/11 click here

© David Katzenstein

Worldviews: Ritual featured in ON ART AND AESTHETICS

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Krishna Widows – Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India  1995

A selection of images from my longterm project about ritual was recently featured on the online arts magazine ON ART AND AESTHETICS.

To view the article click here

To view a portfolio of photographs about ritual click here

© David Katzenstein

50/50: Vanuatu

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Vanuatu is a remote Pacific island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean, about a five-hour flight northeast of Sidney, Australia. A number of years ago I was sent there on assignment by Travel + Leisure Magazine, to document a journey through the archipelago on a beautiful 60’ two masted ketch. Our travels between islands brought us one day to a settlement on Ambrym Island where we were greeted by the village elders. After a brief introduction, they donned their ritual garb and proceeded to begin ceremonial dances in the area in front of their monumental and beautiful Slit Gongs. Years later I came across a similar Slit Gong from the same village at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was immediately transported back to this moment in time.

Read more about the 50/50 project here

www.davidkatzenstein.com

50/50: Argentina, Austria, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Oman, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Vanuatu

50/50: United States

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This wonderful scene is part of my Waiting for Lady Gaga series photographed one sunny morning in Times Square. I was walking north on Broadway and spotted this crowd that had gathered outside the back door of the Good Morning American Studios on West 44th Street. The scene was other worldly; each person seemed frozen in a pose, and the light bathing the scene was reflected off a distant skyscraper. The fans were waiting in droves on both sides of the street with phone cameras at the ready, all facing the exit doors of the studios in anticipation of Lady Gaga’s exit from the building. 

Read more about the 50/50 project here

To see more about the Times Square Project click here

50/50: Argentina, Austria, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Oman, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, United States