World of One: Diligentia


Diligentia (from the series World of One)

Archival Pigment Print from 35mm Negatives
24″ x 47 3/4″ inches | edition of 5
Girlfriend says: “Looks like Darwin!!!”

I’m alive! Apologies to my regular readers for the lack of recent updates. In my move to Brooklyn this past June, I did something I have never done since the conception of this blog: I went over a month without any updates whatsoever. When I first arrived in New York, there was a period of about a month when I wasn’t shooting anything, and was instead trying to find my bearings/frantically looking for work. When I finally emerged from the chaos that had become my life, I shot this picture. It is titled Diligentia, which is the Latin word for persistence. Though I’m slowly beginning to feel more settled in my new surroundings and things are starting to get better, back at the end of July, when I shot this picture, I still felt like it was me against the world. Everything in this city is loud, confusing, and crowded, and I was feeling somewhat lost and fatalistic. In order to force myself to take action and be productive, I kept telling myself that I had to get out and forge my own opportunities.

My goal for this picture is to illustrate those feeling — of trying to find the motivation to push forward, past my fears and into the unknown. That being said, I actually don’t think this picture is very successful. Instead, it occupies this grey area in which I don’t think it’s awful but I wouldn’t necessarily want to look at it all day. I feel like it’s lacking all elements that make the other images in the World of One interesting. It’s hard to tell that they are all the same guy walking in the street, and there’s no sense of depth or distance in the picture. Though I think the idea is good, the execution is not. I felt very indecisive during the shooting of this photo, in a large part due to not having had a very clear vision of the final product in my mind. The idea was to have a group of the guys in black tapering off into the sunlight (thus creating a gradient of values), and to have the white figure in the middle of the darkest part of the group. But during the shoot I couldn’t decide where I wanted to place everything, so instead of a crowd of black suits I ended up with something looking more like a line.


In any event, after failing at my first photoshoot in my new city, I felt fantastically motivated to get out and redeem myself. “I was bound to fail at some point,” I kept saying to myself, “it might as well have been sooner than later.” So the week after I shot this photo, I went back out and shot two more pieces for the World of One. Just from looking at the contact sheets, I can tell that they will be much better. I will be posting them up in the next few days so you can all judge for yourselves.

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No Idea

I might look like I know what I’m doing, but if you look closely, you can see the fear in my eyes. (photo courtesy of Yen the Lo)

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