Photographs and text by Tom Starkweather
I grew up on a farm in Virginia and until high school, I was more interested in photographing what my telescope could see in the night sky than what lurks on a crowded sidewalk. The arrival of my family’s first digital camera brought my interests to a more terrestrial level. The seemingly infinite frames set aside any hesitation I had on “wasting” the more finite medium of film.
I used to be terrified of talking to strangers until I received assignments from a local newspaper, breaking my fear and thus opening me up to a new world. The camera has since become my best tool for exploration. The photograph may seem a rough sketch, but it’s the best I have to remember and see into dimensions I could not dream of. There is a kind of clarity seeing a photograph and not being told what to hear, similar to hearing someone speak without seeing them.
New York, where I take most of my photographs, is a vastly different setting compared to where I first became a photographer. As I walk along the streets of New York, I can’t help but notice that technology is not always a seamless incorporation into an otherwise ordinary life. The city I live in today has a distinctly different feeling than the city in the photographs of Winogrand and Freidlander taken in the 1960’s. I am interested in worlds, and sometimes, quite literally people, colliding. It is these points of intersection and convergence that I seek. In an ever-changing environment, street photography allows me to explore my fascination with my surroundings and with people in an unrivaled way.