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Published by Diana Tula · July 8th 2013

Two shots only, no retakes or retouching, all on medium format. This is Parallax. A project started by Ricky Chapman about a year ago, it documents the people in his New York City life while celebrating the craft of film photography in the moment.

We’ve asked Ricky to tell us a bit more about Parallax. What inspired him to start this project, where is he going from here and who is Ricky Chapman? Tying the photos and text together a thought came to mind. A thought that everyone has a Parallax of their own — a world of duality that documents our friends and memories. Here is Ricky’s Parallax:

All of your subjects are from NYC. Are you a New Yorker yourself?
I'm not native to NYC, but I have worked there off and on for years, and have lived there for the last two years or so. The pace has always suited me; even as a kid it always felt "normal" to me for some reason.

Why did you chose to photograph people?
I think that at the core, people are the real drive for why I photograph, even if there aren't any in a certain image, so it was a natural choice. I greatly respect the work of photographers who are able in some way to capture the human spirit, some intangible that can be drawn out and registered onto film for as long as that negative exists. As far as street environments go, I've always preferred shooting people in a natural setting, with available light. So for this series, as it's based in NY, that meant a lot of street shooting.

What equipment did you use?
I shoot with a Mamiya RZ67, a 110mm 2.8 lens, Ilford B+W film (Delta 400, Delta 3200, and XP2), and only available lighting. That could mean artificial light of course, i.e. a streetlight or indoor lamp, but no lighting was set up or brought to a scene.

Why B&W?
For this specifically, especially as it relates to the rawness and immediacy of NY, and even the limits of the projects (two shots, no retakes, etc), I wanted to keep the visual "language" as simple direct as possible. With all the different settings, lighting, colors, and random variables, shooting in B&W also provides a baseline that ties the images together.

Your photo subjects look about the same age...
As far as age goes, the median is definitely in the late 20's, early 30's, and that wasn't necessarily on purpose, more incidental as a result of who I interact with.

Did you initially plan it as a project or was it an idea that in time manifested itself?
It definitely started as a project in the sense that I knew I wanted to start documented people that represented my experience with NYC - my New York. I set out some guidelines for how, and just got started. It became more concrete as a project as it continued, but the format was in place from the start.

How did you chose your photo subjects?
This relates to the previous answer, as each person, whether a close friend or someone on the street, were all people that signify some part of my experience here in NYC. There's nightlife, fashion, business, music, friendship, etc... A story behind each person, and a connection that is significant to me in some way.

Thanks for sharing your Parallax story Ricky & thank you for reading! To add Ricky to friends visit his 500px page. This Sunday Ricky successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign. His next step is to publish a Parallax book & to continue the series in London, UK. Feel free to get in touch with Ricky for a portrait session or if you'd like to be a part of his new project.

What’s your story? Share it with us in the comments below or send it to

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JudyAnn Rector  over 1 year ago
Very impressed with your work and your vision. I have been shooting candid street photos for years now and this certainly is a unique twist to give that type of image more depth and meaning.
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Graham Hawcroft  over 1 year ago
Hi Rick,
I have started a similar project with a medium format Hasselblad and would like to join you on Parallax and share some creative ideas please.

Best regards
Graham Hawcroft C/o

Orighomisan Ogbebor  over 1 year ago
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Angel Gonzalez  over 1 year ago
Nicolas Gall  over 1 year ago
nice article and nice project !
Mariya Glukhova  over 1 year ago
Thank you for article!
Stefan Georgieff  over 1 year ago
dennis fan  over 1 year ago
inspirational, fantastic work
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Stephanie Catherine  over 1 year ago
Feysal Anthony Nair  over 1 year ago
i love it!
Mark Darren  over 1 year ago
Love it,great to see someone still shooting 120 film & of coarse with a RZ,still have mine,best camera !!! Wish you were coming to Cape Town,South Africa could share a whole lot with you,have a great shoot in London !
Alexander Tvorogov  over 1 year ago
Very interesting project. But, what's strange, he's often cut out a legs. I'm not sure that this corresponds to the classical composition rules.
André Kniepkamp  over 1 year ago
great work!
PEDRO FERNANDEZ  over 1 year ago
Very inspirational, fantastic work
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Creo Photo  over 1 year ago
inspiring and great concept ... lovely selection of people / location ... wonderful work ... thanks for sharing !
Czapla Art  over 1 year ago
Really interesting work
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Haim Jabes  over 1 year ago
I have much appreciate this very instructive work
Colleen Conradie  over 1 year ago
Inspiring stuff
Aldona Kmiec  over 1 year ago
Love b&w. Great study of character.
Iban Gonzalez  over 1 year ago
Very interesting concept!
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Kris Van de Vijver  over 1 year ago
love it
Michael Dohnalek  over 1 year ago
Hey Ricky, great shots. The one with the guy standing half in shadow and half in the light. I did one like that
years ago of someone standing at the corner of a building, the shadow was darker and the sunlight stronger. I used B&W Infrared film. The effect was great !
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Andre Hilkens  over 1 year ago
Very inspiring indeed.
Dean Bali  over 1 year ago
Superb !!
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Júlio Alves  over 1 year ago
Great project and work! Congratulations.
pat clifford  over 1 year ago
great work
sol dumago  over 1 year ago
cool shot!..
Jeff Stroud  over 1 year ago
Love your work! seems to be a great challenge as well as stimulating work!
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Orazio Pergola  over 1 year ago
Great shots!! I like b/w.
Seoirse Brennan  over 1 year ago
Great photos, great reading. :D
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Elle Elskamp  over 1 year ago
Wow, this is awesome!
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Dragos Boldea  over 1 year ago
simple, straight, beautiful! congrats!
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Cedric Jacquot  over 1 year ago
Good creativity!
Anees Alduhim Photography  over 1 year ago
Daniela Contini  over 1 year ago
Great project! Very interesting, wish you good luck!
Firas AZ  over 1 year ago
Pretty cool work. Clean & crisp shots with lots of (inward) depth.
Ade Berry  over 1 year ago
excellent work, cool project too.
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Ekat Grigoryeva  over 1 year ago
Great done!
Angie Photography  over 1 year ago
great work and the images are really sharp.
Dublin City Photography  over 1 year ago
Excellent project, thoroughly enjoyed it.
Paul Garrett  over 1 year ago
Cool work!
santin yuri  over 1 year ago
Really interesting work,congrats
Nader Ghanja  over 1 year ago
nice idea!
Michael Vesia  over 1 year ago
Love this. Great concept!

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