Friday, August 31, 2012

Finally The Rockaways....

This weekend, I hope both Saturday and Sunday, I will trek out to the Rockaways to catch up with old friends and I hope new friends, as I troll the streets with my Rollei wrapped around my neck. This is the first time I am going out to the Rockaways this entire summer and honestly, I really missed the people and the place.

There is nothing like the Rockaways. And I believe there are many out there who would agree. One thing I can say for sure. I have been taking the long subway trip out there for 10 years counting this year and now this summer and things are changing. Change comes slowly to the Rockaways and this is perhaps one of the most charming part of the peninsula.

The once forgotten neighborhood (no, I do not speak of all of the peninsula, only certain pockets) beacon to many of the disregarded is now on the map and highlighted in trendy on-line and printed journals. Yes, hipsters have discovered and flocked to the hidden city beach paradise over the last couple of years. But you can't take the real salt of the Rockaways or at least the neighborhoods where I have been photographing. Over the last decade so many of my subjects have died. I used to get off the train and many familiar faces would great me as I exited the MTA on 116th Street. I miss those kind greetings. So, much can change in 10 years.

These are a couple of simple shots I took outside of a new pub that I frequent. 

"Outside of RBI #1", Rockaways, NY, 2011. Juliana Beasley.

Add captio"Outside of RBI #2", Rockaways, NY, 2011. Juliana Beasley.n

"Outside of RBI #3", Rockaways, NY, 2011. Juliana Beasley.

"Outside of RBI #4", Rockaways, NY, 2011. Juliana Beasley.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hard as Nails. Paper Thin.

"Self-Portrait in Bed #1", Brooklyn, NY, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley

"I am Paper Thin #1", Brooklyn, NY, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

This is as personal as it gets...

"Untitled Toes #1", Brooklyn, NY, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley

"Untitled Toes #2", Brooklyn, NY, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley

"Untitled Toes #3", Brooklyn, NY, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley

"Untitled Toes #4", Brooklyn, NY, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley

"Untitled Toes #5", Brooklyn, NY, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley

Friday, August 10, 2012

Why Take Pictures?

 "Observation #1", MA, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley

Sometimes I ask myself the question: "Why do I take pictures?" I feel I have a responsibility to myself to check in and be honest to myself about something that has taken up a large chunk of my life and head space.

Like most of us, it's easy to live the day to day, week to week or for some of us paycheck to paycheck without reflecting upon a greater purpose in our lives. Sometimes, we start out with one goal and never consider that the goal that once suited us at 25 years old no longer suits us at 45. And many us us get stuck, stagnate and forget why we even decided to choose one road over another. Sometimes, we end up sitting at a desk in some cubicle with stale air and forget that we even had dreams. I haven't occupied a real desk but figuratively, I know what it feels like to just sit, sit, sit and sit.

As I approach my 45th birthday, I am becoming more aware that my dreams and goals have changed. Or better said, I know what matters to me most in this lifetime.

I still want to take pictures after 25 years of studying, consuming and making photographs.  However, the reasons have changed.

 "Observation #2", MA, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley

We can either adapt and change or we can chose to hold onto the past. Life gives you lessons in reality and if you listen well enough you can learn, adapt and make changes. I am in the process of trying to listen to my heart. And I find that often the heart and mind come into conflict. The mind will often generate words with great rational that will often drown out the simple and clear messages of the heart. This is why I began to mediate and take it very seriously.

These photographs were taken during this summer when I went to meditate on an ashram.

I took the following series of photographs during a walk with my girlfriend, Victoria in a wildlife sanctuary in Massachusetts. I remember feeling like an untainted and naive photo student as I observed and framed the pockets of algae, fallen branches, pine needles and other debris along the edge of the pond through the lens of my camera. I longed to make sense and order of nature's haphazard leftovers and tuck them in neatly and very pretty in a rectangular box.

"Observation #3", MA, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley

Victoria and walked ahead of me. When I caught up to her, she turned around and said, "Beasley you are out of your element. I never pictured you as a nature photographer." And neither did I. After, all the intense moments shared with various subjects over the years, I never thought I would be so satisfied and satiated looking through a lens at green murky water. No drama. No chaos. No anxiety coursing through my veins before hitting the shutter. Just the simple air popping sounds of gas bubbles floating to the surface of the pond and bursting open.

 "Observation #4", MA, Summer 2012. Juliana Beasley

August 10, 2012

The Reasons I Still Take Photographs:

I get to hang out with people who interest me. 

I get the chance to meet people I normally might not have the chance to meet.

I get the chance to connect with a subject either (or sometimes all) creatively, emotionally, and spiritually.

I get the opportunity to make pictures that can somehow touch others when they look at it.

I can tell a story that needs to be told.

I can focus my attention on my surroundings.

I have a keepsake and a record of a moment gone.