Looking Out With A Camera

  Last modified on April 4th, 2020

In ordinary times, I would not be balancing myself on my window sill trying to get a clear cell shot of a Pepsi delivery truck.

Pepsi truck

Today, in this period of crisis, the activity – waiting to capture the right moment as masked delivery people wheel carts into stores or carry boxes to the top of the conveyor belt down to the basement of the grocery store below my Upper West Side apartment – is nothing less than a way to acknowledge some of our frontline heroes, the people who are delivering daily the crucial fresh produce, canned foods, bottled drinks and cleaning supplies we require to live. Others are delivering our Fedex and UPS parcels and the mail.

mail carrier


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In another type of acknowledgment, shooting cityscapes out of her apartment window, Joan Menschenfreund is capturing the strength, power and beauty of New York City and the Upper West Side, now under the siege caused by COVID-19.

NYC Water Tower

UWS Skyline

UWS Sunset

Historically, famous photographers have found inspiration in taking photos from their windows. NYC photographer Ruth Orkin lived at 53 West 88th Street from 1950-1955 and at 65 Central Park West from 1955-1985.

Ruth Orkin Cars in Sun

“From Above: Cars in Sun, NYC”

Orkin compiled two books of her works, “A World Through my Window.” And “More Pictures from my Window.” A well known photograph shows Orkin leaning out of a window with a camera in her hand.

Ruth Orkin

Ruth Orkin. Photo by Jerry LaPlante.

Another photographer, Monica Fresco, takes pictures of the park through her window.

Photographer Monica Fresco

Monica Fresco

Each of us is preoccupied by thoughts, anxieties and hopes. Taking the time to capture a moment of beauty or insight focuses our attention. It is absorbing, and comforting.

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