When I arrived at Kennedy airport, I felt like one of the millions of immigrants in one of Lewis Hine's photographs. Even though I was a citizen, spoke the same language, and arrived by plane, from San Francisco, I was still lost, confused, and out of place.
I was working three days a week as an intern at ICP Midtown with the Curator
Miles Barth in order to pay for darkroom rental. Part of my internship
was spent organizing six thousand negatives of Weegee's work for the book
Weegee's World and not a single godamn credit anywhere in the book. Fuck
My only nourishment was the many hours I was allowed to spend in the ICP
archives, looking at the original photographs of Larry Clark's Tulsa,
or Shelby Lee Adam's 16 x 20 prints of the people of the Appalachian Mountains,
or Robert Capa's work.
Broke, but not quite destitute, I was also working at the Sheraton on
52nd St. and Avenue of the Americas, as a part-time weekend night manager
at their fitness center. I worked two twelve-hour graveyard shifts —
Saturday night to Sunday morning, and again Sunday night to Monday morning.
I worked a total of 24 hours in two days making $10.00 an hour. They also
provided their employees with meals, so I went there often, including
my days off.
During the endless walks to ICP to Midtown and Uptown, I often thought
how pathetic I was, how miserable I was, and how alone I was. Pissed off
and angry, these photos represent my state of mind then.
As I walked from my shared studio apartment, on West 3rd street between
Mercer and Thompson Streets to uptown where I was working — which
took fifty-two minutes — I carried my Leica m6 in my hand taking
photos, allowing the camera to expose for the light as I made my guesses,
and sometimes not looking through the viewfinder, but always looking.
— Thomas Robinson
Featurefifty-two minutesPhotographs and a personal essay about being down and out in NYCView Images
Photographs and a personal essay about being down and out in NYCView Images
Photographs and a personal essay about being down and out in NYC
Trending this Week
The Prostitutes and the Priest
Faced with no other option, young women in Namibia turn to sex work in order to survive. In this short film, they talk about their tireless advocate: a German priest who broke ranks with his institution to do what he felt was right.
Winners: LensCulture Exposure Awards 2017
Discover the diverse and talented group of photographers recognized in this year’s LensCulture Exposure Awards—a delightful, surprising, inspiring range of work that showcases the vibrancy of contemporary photography being made all over the world!
Wear Good Shoes: Inspiring Advice from Magnum Photographers
Download this free 60-page PDF from Magnum Photos—filled with excellent tips, advice and words of wisdom from the photographers at Magnum, as well as many of their iconic images. A great resource for anyone who wants to make better pictures.
In My Backyard: Iceland
Set against the grand, wild majesty of the eastern Icelandic landscape, these searching self-portraits are one woman’s attempts to connect with herself and forge a basic understanding with her environment.
65 Amazing Photo Series Inspired by the Earth
The wonders and calamities of nature and life on Earth seem as endless as the cosmos themselves. Here are 65 amazing photo series that draw their inspiration from the beauty of nature, the cycles of life, changing weather and environments, and...
Irish-born Tom Wood photographed the working-class people of Liverpool for almost three decades — at once affectionate and grimly realistic. Review by Sean Sheehan.