“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
— Jonathan Swift
Who am I?
A philosopher, professor, photographer, father, brother, husband, son, reader, listener, walker.
Photographs here are a visual diary of my own life, a reflection of my interests, concerns, and, ideas. I have no commercial or professional intentions.
I prefer color photography of people on the street, social situations, and atmosphere. I try not to 'force' photography (I don't deliberately go hunting for a particular subject or an aesthetic). I let it flow and follow the rhythm of my life. I take pictures of things coming at me.
I call this approach 'personal photography.' I cherish the documentary approach of early New York street photographers (especially members of the Photo League) who wanted to portray the social reality of their time as they saw it, without veneer and pretense. I want to be responsive to the world around me, rather than active in creating one in accordance to my preconceived vision. Simultaneously, I want to be aware of the limits of photographic representation, yet try to communicate my perspective as one part of objective reality to others.
Bernard Williams, the famous British philosopher, suggested that we can capture the distinction between how the world really is and how it appears to us by contrasting between independent and dependent concepts. Dependent concepts, like color, are those that describe how the word appears to us given our constitution. For example, we use the sense of vision to 'see' color. On the other hand, independent concepts describe the world in ways that are less dependent on our constitution. For example, we could explain color with the concept of the light's wavelength. This concept would then be shareable with creatures who did not have our sense of vision, but could perceive color as the wavelengths of light.
For me, photography, when done right, is a practice of communicating how the world really is. Most of images captured are dependent on the personal constitution of the photographers. Images communicate how the world appears to their takers; they are relative. Some of them, however, manage to pour through the relative and tell us something about the absolute. Either through composition, color, moment, or mood, some photographs succeed in describing how the world really is.
Although it is incredibly hard to capture such images, I am after them.
I am drawn to the idea of understanding what New York City really is (presuming that there is a definite substance we could call 'New York City') beyond the usual tropes of Manhattan skyline, Central Park, and similar well-known images. Since I live in Queens, I start my exploration of this 'newyorkness' on the streets of this borough, but I also often venture elsewhere.
I come from Bosnia, a country in South-Eastern Europe. I go there sometimes and bring images of my past.