The Staten Island Ferry, October 2017

The Staten Island Ferry, October 2017

The Staten Island Ferry is a place that peaked my interest last spring, when my professor brought us on a class outing to document the ferry. I instantly fell in love with its timelessness, it’s vibrant orange colour, and the sweeping views of Manhattan it offered.

Living in NYC can be overwhelming at times. It is busy and dense – and sometimes you simply want to be in a more peaceful and open environment. For me, this environment is being on the ferry, looking out at wide seascapes. Since I can remember, I have always possessed an affinity for water. I have always lived near water, and summers were always spent on a river, with water as the main focal point of fun. So, for me, being near water is therapeutic, calming, and comfortable. These are the reasons for me initially choosing the Staten Island Ferry as my location for this project.

After spending a bit of time on the ferry and photographing it, I noticed how it evoked wistful emotions in me for a time that once was. Instead of looking down at their phones (apart from snapping photos of the Statue of Liberty), people were engaging in conversation, and laughing with one another. There was a real sense of people being present and engaging with their surroundings and other passengers.

In these photographs, I wanted to display the perspectives of a passenger on the ferry during their journey to Manhattan. Presented as physical prints, I wrote stanzas from John Hall Wheelock’s poem “On the Ferry Boat” in the boarders of the photographs. Through this, I believe that one gains a better understanding of the sensations I wanted to capture. The act of writing these out gave the photographs a very personal, post-card feel, which I believe fits the ideologies behind the project, almost as if the photographs are little keepsakes or mementos.

All photos were shot on a Hasselblad 500c using Fujifilm Fujicolor Pro 400H film.

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