this past weekend i was having a discussion with friends about how great our parents and grandparents family photos were, compared to the endless and often crappy iPhone photos we haphazardly churn out these days. when i look back at photos i took pre-digital days (i still used a film camera when i was at university in the early 2000s) they were more considered, and certainly keepsakes in comparison to the thousands of pics on my camera roll.
Throughout the 1980s I made many trips to New York City. Having grown up on a quiet street in the young suburbs of Los Angeles, I longed for the unexpected, haphazard encounters Manhattan had to offer. I traveled with my twin lens Rolleiflex, a camera that allowed me to make photographs unannounced. I spent my days trolling the streets, delighting in the close contact I had with strangers. I brought these stolen observations back to California, printed them, and put them in a box on the shelf. Thirty years later, as I revisit these images, I see that they allow me to travel once again, now back to another era. These split seconds silently frame my point of the past, a past full of incidental moments that combined together to form a very personal records of a shared memory.
also, damn, NYC was a bit of a mess back then!
all photographs by Janet Delaney.