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“Since 1984, I have lived in Independence Plaza, a residential complex of three 39-story apartment buildings, with attached townhouses. It is located in the Tribeca neighborhood of downtown Manhattan.

Independence Plaza was built in the mid 1970’s as luxury rental housing. It was converted to state subsidized middle-income housing and remained as such until 2004, when a new landlord purchased the complex and removed the state subsidies. Some long-term tenants left, but many remained. Long time tenants were allowed to stay with stabilized rents, thanks to a strong tenants association. New tenants moved in and are paying market rates, for newly refurbished apartments. Each apartment is modernized when the original tenant leaves.

Tribeca has changed over the years and is now considered one of the swankiest neighborhoods in Manhattan, with housing prices to match. Independence Plaza remains as a bastion of diversity within a community.

I live on the 39th floor of “Building 1” – the northernmost of the three 39 story towers. With this series, I photograph my neighbors, original and long term residents, in their apartments. What does it mean to be at home in your multi unit community, your neighborhood, your city?”

Building1 by Susan Rosenberg Jones (1/7)

“I take inspiration from my love for nature and the outdoors and from trying to lead a mindful life. I meditate every morning for about 15 minutes, attempting to carry that calm and observant mind-set with me through my day. Most of my pictures are inspired by the places and landscapes that form the backdrop to my life. I try to find beauty in the ordinary or beyond the obvious, and I like revisiting places with my camera and observing the constant change in everything.

I like both the big view and the intimate view, and I love it when small details tell big stories. My goal is to tell something about my connection and interaction with a place, about the secrets or energy it bears, or about how it reflects something I have found within myself.

I also take inspiration from many other things that play a role in my life, above all, music and the work of other photographers, including UK photographic artists Chris Friel, Valda Bailey, Andy S Gray, Michéla Griffith, Mark Littlejohn, Paul Kenny and John Blakemore, to name but a few.”

Denmark 2015 by Julia Fuchs (3/4)

“Almost one year has passed now since I took these images, around Christmas 2015. My photography has evolved during this year, but this is actually the kind of image my creative endeavors began with back in 2013.

The technique, intentional camera movement (ICM), is quite simple, yet pretty much unpredictable and endlessly variable and, as always, it takes some patience and practice and a bit of luck to get it right. But the key lies in the post-processing (which I usually do in Lightroom only) and it wasn’t until months later that I edited those and turned the RAW files into the pictures you see here now. They are actually a subset of the series that sprang from that holiday by the North Sea coast, where I only used my phone camera most of the time because it was extremely windy.

Sometimes it really takes me by surprise what I end up with after editing a what seemed to be a flat and bland original image. Places and landscapes appear out of nowhere, from the back of my mind maybe, or from my imagination; landscapes that still bear parts and reminders of the original scenes, and their spirit if I’m lucky, yet they are not what I saw out in the field. They are what I saw when I looked inside.”

Denmark 2015 by Julia Fuchs (1/4)

“This sort of architectural approach allowed me to achieve a better knowledge of my hometown, wandering in areas where I had rarely or never gone; I let myself be surprised by hidden and unexpected sights, sometimes in sharp contrast, sometimes in harmony, that, as a whole, give back a personal, necessarily incomplete and fragmentary idea of Bari (hence the title, ALMOST BARI). However, this can apply to the description of any city, big or small, that, like a living organism, is in constant transformation, full of contrasts and never the same.

I chose black and white instead of colour considering that, while colour contains many interesting, appealing but distracting elements, black and white allows the viewer to concentrate on the volumes of buildings, on the contrast between empty and filled spaces, on the relationship/ contrast between constructions and gives a uniform tone and mood to the sequence of images.”

ALMOST BARI by Mara Dani (5/6)

“Then I started to get into the task, to look around with keener eyes and to discover unexpected aspects of the city. I tried to photograph Bari with a sort of architectural approach: precise perspectives, converging lined directing the eye, clean and neat framing. I sort of wanted to give these shabby areas a kind of dignity by focusing on the features of its buildings and urban territory. That was the difficult part but the guidance of my mentor and his support came to my rescue: his suggestions and advice helped me a lot and I improved the quality of my work.”

ALMOST BARI by Mara Dani (3/6)

“Some months ago, I was interviewed by ‘On Landscape’, a UK online photo magazine I find very informative and often very inspiring too. In the interview I told them a little about the Denmark series, so here is an excerpt of it (issue 125):​

‘We had been there once before in May 2014. I really love that place, the wide sand dunes and beaches along the coast and the wonderful light you often get there. I like open and vast landscapes in general, rough places, and above all I love being by the sea. I always feel very alive there and close to myself and my surroundings. Walking along a beach always feels right to me, but I cannot do this very often, and that makes it special.

The whole week we spent there it was quite stormy, which added a surreal atmosphere to the place. I had never seen waves that high, and the wind was throwing the sea foam across the beach. Sometimes it was even difficult to get across the dunes because there was so much sand in the air. It was wild and raw and I loved it. And it was impossible to hold a camera still under these conditions, so I started doing ICM on my iPhone, using a slow shutter app. A series of images started to develop and I felt a certain flow while capturing them. It was great. The images were all taken very spontaneously and intuitively, very quickly during walking, and they seemed to match what I was experiencing. I think that’s what excited me most about them.’

For the set of images shown here I didn’t use my phone camera though, but my ‘big’ camera (a mirrorless from Fujifilm). I didn’t use it in Denmark most of the time due to the very stormy weather and the sand in the air, but did take it out quickly on some occasions. I wish I could have made more images with it back at that time. I need to return to the place one day…”

Denmark 2015 by Julia Fuchs (4/4)

“I have been asked to describe the way I work, but, as much as I would like to do that, I think I can’t give you a precise account of my approach. Honestly, I’m not sure how I do it or why I do it, the image-making, I mean. This is also one of the reasons why I put off writing this text for months.

Ramin, the kind guy from AN has been very patient with me. He kindly contacted me some time in summer and I was really chuffed and told him I’d send him my images and the ‘narratives’ to go with them soon… I didn’t do it. Every now and then I got a friendly email from Ramin asking me how I was getting on. I had to take care of other things, had to make more images, had to think. The timing never seemed right and it seemed a difficult job to me. But now, finally, I think I can write a few lines about the way I work.

So here they come: out in the field, I work in a very intuitive way, without thinking too much about anything in that moment because all I’m doing then is being in that very moment, seeing it, experiencing it. Well, of course I’m thinking too, but I’m trying not to worry too much about camera settings or composition and stuff. It’s kind of a meditation and a continuous process of searching and finding and developing.

As I said before, sometimes it takes me months to understand what I want to do with an image, and sometimes I already know this in the moment of taking it. I’m not sure about the source of this knowledge; it seems to be within myself and it is certainly influenced by my own circumstances. Often when I’m working on a certain image, it feels as if I just need to put the bits and pieces together. But there are quite a few pieces to my own jigsaws. Sometimes I turn images upside down, like the last one shown here, and the effect may be quite surprising. Suddenly there is a new place with a different feel. I like the idea of playing a little with perception and imagination to see where I can take the mind.”

Denmark 2015 by Julia Fuchs (2/4)

“I have always been fascinated by photography and have practiced it taking photos during my trips abroad. Recently, after completing my career as a congress organizer first and teacher of English later, I decided to study photography in a more organized and systematic way. Therefore I am a “mature” photographer.

In my first work I followed the lesson of the great Italian photographer Gabriele Basilico whose style and purity of vision of cities and urban territories I have always admired.”

ALMOST BARI by Mara Dani (6/6)

“While taking this photograph in another poor area of Bari suburbs, I was approached by a suspecting guy who asked me why I was taking a photo of agas meter and some palm stump. I tried to explain to him that I liked the repetition of similar shapes (the cylinder of the gas meter, repeated in the shape of the palm trunk) framed on the right by the arched trunk of a pine tree. He looked at me even more suspicious….”

ALMOST BARI by Mara Dani (4/6)

“I started exploring it trying to look at familiar places with new eyes, like a “tourist” who gazes at an unknown place and discovers interesting aspects which, on the contrary, escape the superficial eye of the hurried city dweller for whom those aspects and places have become stereotypes.

In the beginning, I felt frustrated because my photographs seemed to me very ordinary and commonplace. I concentrated on the suburbs of Bari, which appeared to be quite neglected and sloppy. Also, I found it was fatiguing going around with a heavy tripod, in any weather (I started in February when it was very cold) for hours. I understood what my mentor, a local professional photographer, meant when he said to me: ‘Photography is hard work’.”

ALMOST BARI by Mara Dani (2/6)