29 July, 2005 • Express Train
F train ~ 4th Ave. Brooklyn ~ 7:30pm - Click for next Image

Photography © Travis Rusephotoblogs.orglisted

F train ~ 4th Ave. Brooklyn ~ 7:30pm

And here is the second dude. They all got cards so I hope we hear from them.


  1. gangsta!

  2. Nice to see you breaking the bounds of the singular image stepping outside of that rectangle for a momentAnd in regards to my crank comment from yesterday hers the sober later meditation on the subject...I must be feeling guilty, Canadians hate hurting feelings

    "I know that I could have done better than that by making an such an obviously ridiculous comment (see archives?2005/07/chambers_st_m_p_php). It really was well intentioned and not meant to be malicious.

    I guess I'm trying to move the dialogue along beyond stating the obvious which is really saying nothing. They say that the photo book falls somewhere between a novel and a movie. The photoblog shares some of these qualities. It seems to me that when we discuss either a movie or book we don't talk so much about the sentence structure and the vocabulary, we discuss the characters and the story-lines, meanings, style etc. How it's written does figure as a stylistic consideration but to be obsessed with the vehicle, the means, seems to miss the point of the journey and end. What is Travis trying to do and see? What is his journey revealing to us daily. Look beyond the singular picture, look how they relate, look back to the beginnings, look how it's changed, how he's evolving as a photographer (notice how many more intimate and direct pictures of people he showing. He's getting braver and more comfortable shooting strangers as it's damn hard and intimidating!). Lets look at more than just the composition, the color, the light. Yes they are all amazing aspects of the individual photographs but thats what they should be, that's a given. If your a good photographer who knows his or her tools then it becomes second nature but should be there as a supporting roll only to get us to the "photo impact". They are your your ink and pen. We as the as witnesses to this visual journey all need to move the dialogue beyond "nice capture". Obvious nothing. Why is it a nice capture, is it just the light and the composition if so then lets just look at sunset pictures as the light is always nice. Make a simple statement, ask a question, lets talk about something!

  3. I wish I had the guts to approach some stranger and ask them for a photo. Most of your portraits seem so natural and spontaneous that it seems that you're friends with the people you're photographing!

  4. Newton - I totally agree that discussion should go beyond "nice capture". Since I'm very new to photography it's hard for me to comment on technique, etc., my comments usually encompass the social/cultural elements depicted in the photographs. I am more interested in the body of work as a whole, creating a record of daily life in this particular time and space.

    Believe me, anthropologists of the future will be ecstatic that someone had the time, patience and commitment to record daily pulse in the New York subways. This is the business of studying a culture.The guys in the Ivory towers are only a small and almost negligible part of the story, the more interesting chapter is the daily life of the everyday joe in the street, or in this case the subway.

  5. Dear Farmers Wife

    As photographers many of us are drawn to the technical, it's a fun game to play. Maybe the problem with photography is that it's too easy to make an image that works. Master the tools, press a button and there you have it, you are instant photographer/artist/image maker. One doesn't have to be too terribly motivated or committed to make an image as a photographer unlike the painter, sculpture, or filmamker. You don't have to think about the why's and what's of image making as much when all you have to do is press the button. The digital age doesn't help much either. Maybe this figures into why so many photographers get lost in the details.

    As far as what you have said about the anthropological aspect of Travis's project I couldn't agree more of how valuable it is and will become. It's interesting how time effects the photograph perhaps more than any of the other visual mediums. Photos become like wine that in some cases sour but more often than not they become more potent the further we get away from the moment captured. The most mundane image gains power with time.

    Also I think that what I admire about these pictures in particular is twofold. One is that the best social documents are not those where the photographers goes off to seek out situations that are bizarre and strange, treks to Nepal, prostitutes in Bombay. That is somehow more just about commuication? Its not hard to achieve "photo impact" when the image is based on pure novelty and voyeurism. Take a picture of some wizened tribal face in outer Kirgizstan. We look at it here in America and go wow... show that same picture to Kirgize and they'd say "so what". I think that when we photograph that which we know, what is so familiar to us then we begin to see the significant things or we begin to transend the surface. Look closely at any artist body of work, though the subjects may be varied it ultimately become more about the artist than the subject. So photograph you life, your friends, pets whatever intersts you. Start there and see where you end up. One does need to fly around the otherside of the planet to make a document that is of social/anthroplogical importance. The better access you have to a subject the better the image might be...?. So that's the genius of this project, taking the train to work everyday in that dark noisy, smelly, impersonal,and souless place( or so it would have seemed until Travis took a look). Open your eyes and see.

    Second and finally to the other part, one of the reasons why the "blog" is revolutionary. For me, as a photographer, it has to do with being able to watch and participate in the creative process. Often times it's the mistake, the picture that we were not thinking about that shows us the way. One picture can open a door to a whole other world. Boredom is a good thing as you start to look somewhere else. You photograph everything about and around your subject, as a blind person might feel their way around a room. Once you've touched it all you find another layer to explore and so on and so forth, it's like peeling an onion. This creative process is always what has excited me and is one my personal bias. For all of us be able to watch Travi's "process" as it unfolds is new. To read his comments and have a dialogue with the artist and the audience it's quite remarkable. It is the democratization of the photograph but more importantly the creative process and in this case social document. Theres so much to talk about but I have already gone on far too long. Thanks for the talk.

  6. Now this, this is tight. Probably the best image I have seen from you in a long time, Travis. I was on 4th Ave just the other day.

    Anyways, I'd make it my background (you know), but it's rectangular and just wouldn't show up right.

  7. edit: I set it as my background image. it'll be my background image until you come out with a better one because this one will be hard to beat.

  8. Newton - you've hit upon something that took me a while to understand. I was longing to photograph something different, something meaningful when it dawned on me that I should capture what surrounds me everyday. And I'm in a very unexciting place...the middle of nowhere farm country. But we can still strive to record the warp and weave of our daily lives.

    I've actually had farmers e-mail me and say that I've caused them to change the way they look at their surroundings, that they never realized there was beauty in the everyday and seemingly unnoteworthy.

    This is a very strong portrait and I hope the posse check out the site. Another interesting aspect of photoblogging is the ability to draw the subject into the medium. Not many in rural areas have ever heard of a photoblog, and maybe not many in the subways of New York. Handing out cards and explaining to all who will listen is a "marketing" tool for the photoblogging community.

  9. Wow thats a lot of cell phones. lol

  10. sometimes one doesnt need to say anything
    a picture is worth a thousand words
    the net is full of opinions
    no more capture..
    nice way to release the moment to us all
    perhaps we all begin to understand
    each other without words

  11. fiasquento!

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Photography © Travis Rusephotoblogs.orglisted