Friday, December 14, 2007
My Aunt Linda
My family recently said goodbye to one of its most well-loved members, my Aunt Linda, who passed away due to complications from cancer at the age of 60. Without dwelling on this most upsetting fact of life, I wanted to share an important image that would not exist if it were not for my aunt.
The shot above is an iconic view—so much that I will not even mention the name of this city and still, 99% of you will know it. (The remaining 1% are probably living underground, without internet access and therefore not reading this anyway.)
In February 1998, my then fiancée and I went to visit my aunt who had a great connection for a private tour of Rockefeller Center. Just above the famous Rainbow Room, there is a door and staircase which leads to a rooftop with a view south to the Empire State Building and World Trade Center in the distance. It was cold, windy and rainy so I was not eager to step out there. But, with my Nikon F3, 20mm Nikkor and high-grain film, my aunt and I ventured outside to see the view which our guide described as "spectacular."
After about 60 seconds shooting, I didn't think too much about it. But when the film was finally developed, this one stood out as a dramatically beautiful image. Even my aunt commented, "That's really a great shot." So I made a small print for her apartment. Over the past decade, numerous companies have bought stock licenses for that image and it remains one of my career favorites to-date.
Well...we've said goodbye to a few of the buildings in that shot and now we've said goodbye to the woman who made the shot possible. I usually roll my eyes when someone says "photography captures a moment" or some other cliché but in some strange way, it's true. We just never know when that moment will be taken from us.