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Viewfinder | Portraits From the Past

Ross Bennett Lewis on capturing neighborhood creatives.

“Tompkins Square Park with the surrounding avenues and streets offer an endless milieu of unexpected finds. Photographing people is most challenging yet very rewarding. I admire people with creative energy and their endeavors. After losing so many people to AIDS in the 1980s, I was disappointed in not having taken wonderful black and white images of them, so by the early 1990s I resumed shooting in black and white, using analog cameras and film. Years later these photographs become historical, as they have a different texture than digital. New York City has an abundance of material to shoot, whether it be people, architecture or just recording the quality of light and city life.”
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