New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

World of Sheep

I once dated a woman just after college for a short time. A very short time. Actually, if I recall, it may have been only one date. This woman had been highly affected by her readings of the existentialists. I can't say I liked her much, and I remember very little, except her assertion that "people were sheep." She suggested, "Let's do something different," as if difference, in and of itself, insured a better experience. I vaguely recall her quoting some French philosopher, a role model of hers I imagine, to substantiate her negative views of humankind and extemporaneous living as the only antidote.

Had it been 2010, her life would be considerably more difficult, if not near impossible. She would be a very unhappy camper for sure. Flash mobs, Twitter, email, texting, Facebook, satellite TV, blogs, ezines - everything conspires to disseminate information, literally at the speed of light. Whether it's the latest, greatest neighborhood, product or event, no stones are left unturned. Nothing of any interest to anyone remains secret for very long.

In 2007, when I first heard about the biannual solar event coined Manhattanhenge by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, I really felt privy to a very special near-secret event. And although I was not the lone photographer my first time seeing this spectacular New York City occurence, the experience I had in midtown Manhattan did not have the flavor of a feeding frenzy fueled by electronic networking or the feeling that one was part of a flock of sheep.

I created a photo triptych which I posted along with my article on this blog on May 21, 2007. The photo collage was picked up and featured by Gothamist online. This year, I see a massive amount of imaging online - it is doubtful now that any given photo would be easily singled out for a media feature as mine was in 2007. B & H Photo now organizes an annual Manhattanhenge Gathering for photographers. On the photosharing website, there are two special photogroups for Manhattanhenge alone (2009 and 2010), and a search of images returns over 3000 results. Websites abound with stories, photos, and information about this natural occurrence.

I have, of late, become very enamored of sheep - they are wonderful animals that do really appear to love the company of people. They may not be known as independent thinkers, but perhaps they are the new paradigm for our fast moving world. I have not given up completely on creative or independent work, but I am preparing for the future and learning as much as I can now about the world of sheep :)

Photo Note: I stumbled across this year's Manhattanhenge unknowingly. The photo was taken just before sunset, looking west down 23rd Street.


el isman said...

follow the sun my friend.God is Great

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Had not heard of this phenomenon. Loved the triptych from 2007 too.

Pedro D. H. said...

amazing photo! Suck luck to find a place like that.

UWEveMbaGrp4 said...

Totally new to the world of blogging and also new to NY! I have started blogging my journey as i explore NY. I was researching blogging and i came across yours. Love your style and especially the photography. Any insight/feedback for my blog will also be greatly appreciated. My blog is

Josef said...

You always find a way to say something poignant about something that may have been reported to death. I found my own take on Manhattanhenge and wrote a short post of it on my new blog.I apologize if leaving a link is in bad taste. I am new to this blogging thing:)

Anonymous said...

amazing photo.. isn't awesome that God created that??

Francis Oliverio said...

A wonderful article to read. It's funny how related the woman, the sunset, blogs and Twitter. :-)
I hope people are not sheep and sheep are not people. Both have very distinct characteristics and I hope it stays that way. I still think that the human race will move on to be creative, in new ways relevant to the new needs created by society.