I’m tired tonight, so I’ll be brief. I’m in New York leading a training, and this happened to be my view out my classroom window. Seeing something like this, Freedom Tower, up close is a lot to take in, for a number of reasons. New York City itself is always a lot to take in.
When I was cropping this picture, I noticed the window washer guy. I didn’t see him when I took the picture. Just like with my first photo-a-day post, I am reminded of Stieglitz. My favorite photograph of his is “Spring Showers” (sorry, I’m using an iPad app to post this and I can’t figure out how to copy a link to the image in here).
The photo shows a crooked little tree and a man in the background sweeping the street clean during a light rain. This was a cropped image. Georgia O’Keeffe kept the original as part of “Waste Basket Collection.” After Stieglitz would print photos and discard the ones he wasn’t going to use, O’Keefe would sneak into the darkroom and empty out the wastebasket, keeping Stieglitz’s cast-offs (The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale has the wastebasket collection, and because I worked there as a student, I got to see the original print of this image.)
So, the original “Spring Showers” is a huge image. The poor little street cleaner is just a blur in the corner. When Stieglitz saw the print, he decided to reframe/resize the image so that the tree and street sweeper were the focal point and cropped out the rest. Artistic choice is so powerful and fascinating.
Makes me want to crop this photo to show just the window washer.