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Yesterday I set forth my thoughts on these bicycle locking posts, including how their shape related to their purpose, both in terms of aesthetics and efficiency. I mentioned I had been wanting to photograph them since I first saw some near Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO maybe 2 years ago. When I first saw them, for a few moments, I simply thought they were art. I did not realize they were bicycle locking stations at first.  And I think that temporary misapprehension is what held me back from shooting them immediately in that context.

I’m always wary of shooting someone else’s art work, be it a sculpture, mural, or what have you. It seems too derivative, as if I’m just piggybacking on someone’ else’s creativity. Of course, photography is inherently a secondary act of creation. Whether our subject is a piece of art, a building, cityscape, portrait,landscape or something else, it is almost always something the photographer did not create. We can compose, direct, and move things around, but they are almost always persons or things we did not create. So you try to add something so the photograph becomes something more than just a plain, direct representation of what was there.

Shooting your subject as a reflection in a mirror or window is a cliche, perhaps, but it it something. I also chose the medium, in this case I used Velvia slide film. I did not go out that day with the film in the camera thinking that I wanted to shoot these items, but when I saw them, with the reflection, and he late afternoon light, and the colors, I thought I had something more that was not present in my previous encounters.

So here they are.

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Available In My Gallery Here

Walking d this street on a photowalk 2 months ago I spied these bicycle locking station sreflecting in the street level windows. This design started appearing around the city a few years ago, and I’ve been a bit intrigued by them ever since I first noticed them.  I have read nothing about them, so what follows is complete speculation on my part.

They seem poorly designed for their purpose. A single post with a ring (or rings) would serve the same purpose and take up less space.  I surmise then that the purpose of the design is aesthetic. It sort of looks like a bicycle wheel, but not really. I find the look pleasing, even as I wonder both about whether the design makes functional sense and whether they are supposed to look like bicycle wheels. Maybe the small mystery is what creates my interest. But even that seems odd because both questions contain an inherent assumption of mild incompetence on the part of the designer. I’ve been wanting to photograph them since I first saw them  near Brooklyn Bridge Park, but all of my doubts about their design and purpose held me back.

The reflection in the windows pushed me over the edge.

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Freedom Tower and the Tribute In Light – last year – September 11, 2013.

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  • Michael CriswellSeptember 15, 2014 - 5:27 pm

    Wow Mark, I love this one, nice work. I will see you soon!ReplyCancel

  • […] Freedom Tower and the Tribute In Light – as another anniversary on what has to be the worst terror attack in human history comes and goes, Mark Garbowski shares a shot he captured in previous years that features a tribute to those who were lost in a display of light.  This is a highly profound piece, one with deeper meaning that is found by those who spend time with the frame. […]ReplyCancel

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Medium format film shot taken from the High Line in early summer.

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