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.
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 email@example.com