Duality is a function of two opposing forces meeting at an impasse, and in that meeting, bringing each other into existence.
When I look through a lens, I see in duality - shadow and light. This, more than anything, draws me to the craft: the use of contrast to direct the viewer's attention to a particular subject.
The darkness in our world is impossible to ignore. It screams at us from our phone screens, televisions, magazine racks. Occasionally, I feel as though it will consume me. Climate change, terrorism, species extinction, famine, good ol' fashioned murder, rape, water wars...
But there is also light. I've seen it, felt it, and am proud to count among my friends and colleagues people with indomitable spirit who do good works against impossible odds. They build schools in countries where children have never held a book. They defend our Constitution in the courtroom. And they push and push and keep pushing for a sustainable future, in spite of - or perhaps because of - rising seas and encroaching deserts.
We have become fixated on darkness in film and television. Consider our most critically acclaimed TV shows of the past few years: The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Homeland, True Detective. They each feature protagonists who, driven by pure intentions (love, survival, security), commit sometimes unspeakable acts. Sure, the anti-hero is nothing new - ask Othello and Macbeth - but it seems like now more than ever, we are enamored with protagonists who exist in extremes: the brightest light, the deepest shadow.
Is that a bad thing? No. It is simply a reflection of the extremes in which we exist. Television and film are like dreams; they allow us to process and work through our fears and obsessions, and perhaps in fixating on darkness, what we're really looking for is the light.
All of this came from a recent late-afternoon stroll along the High Line. Camera in hand, I sought out the duality and found it made each object and person and moment all the richer.
Yours truly, one dappled-sunlight stroll at a time,
Visiting the High Line
Visitor information is available here. Sunsets at the park are especially stunning.