Thursday, November 27, 2014

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Photographer Captures New York's Public Clocks in New Book

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Photographer Stephen Wilfong has given new meaning to the phrase, "in a New York minute," with his book of the same title. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

What makes fast-talking photographer Stephen Wilfong tick? Time, and the beauty of a clock.

His journey began several years ago with a shot of Pier A off Battery Park.

"I snapped an image and like at the time I took the picture there was clouds, it just, it all worked. The skyline looked amazing. The clouds were there. There was depth and all these pigeons like took off," says Wilfong.

He spent the next three and half years photographing all the clocks around Manhattan in the public view. They're compiled in his new book, "In a New York Minute."

Instead of celebrating our fast past culture though, these images offer us a chance to slow down and see the city in a new way. Oh and check the time without looking at our smart phones.

"It’s kind of nice to present them in this manner where they’re like, 'Oh wow, I didn’t realize that was on my block,'" Wilfong says.

Many of the clocks are at well known locations and landmarks. Others take a while to find.

"There was a lot of those times in the wintertime shooting where I was like, 'I’ve got to get inside for a minute and thaw out or my camera is just going to stop working.' But I don't know, it's been... the time I’ve spent here and the time I got to capture the book was some of the best times in my life. I met my wife up here, the city has brought a lot of great things to me and I love New York for it," Wilfong says.

Perhaps a question only obsessive New Yorkers would think to ask: were the clocks photographed in time order?

"People are like, ‘Oh, does it start at midnight?’ And I’m like, ‘You’re out of your mind.’ Like, it sounds awesome. I would have loved to have captured it like that, and I thought about it for about it for about 10 seconds and my brain melted. I was just like, 'You know what? Let’s make it look good, frame it up, show the city in kind of a photo-journalistic style,'" Wilfong explains.

So slow down and enjoy the passage of time if you can. Even if it is just for a New York minute.

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