This topic is about the photo you did not take. If you haven’t seen the previous episodes, read those stories here.
For this episode we hear the story of Gery Smismans, a photographer from Belgium and Fellow Substack author. He will tell us about his photos, taken and untaken.
Here we go.
Thanks for reading Darkrooms! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Which photo was untaken and why did you not take it?
Some years ago I visited New York. I stayed over at a friend who lived there in a apartment on the fourth floor, in the vicinity of Columbia University.
Our morning routine looked like this: get up, yawn, walk to the kitchen and sigh deeply at the thought of the effort it would take to make coffee. Instead, still in our underwear, we walked out and took the elevator to the basement, where we wandered for half a minute through barely lit hallways that led to a staircase. At the end of it was a door that opened directly in the Appletree Supermarket, on the corner of 122nd & Amsterdam. We walked over to the counter where we each bought a giant 1 liter coffee cup. The owner knew us, those guys in their underwear showing up through the basement backdoor, a daily routine.
I have a ton of pictures of that NY trip, from Brooklyn Bridge to Sugar Hill. But I don’t have a picture of that daily moment, when we bought our morning coffee at the counter of the Appletree Supermarket.
Which photo that you did not expect to take surprised you the most?
I was making some shots to see how I would frame a certain scene: a streak of sunlight piercing through 2 bridges overhead. A couple of cyclists drove by, they were laughing like children, pretending to race each other with the streak of sunlight the finishing line. It was only after I made the picture that they noticed me.
Who is Gery Smismans?
I’m Gery, living in Gent, Belgium. I’ve been documenting city life in Gent since 2016 in b&w pictures. Trying to capture the illusive beauty of the city and its inhabitants. Check out gent.substack.com for more.
If this newsletter was shared with you, consider subscribing, and if you have already subscribed, please forward to a friend who loves photography.
Do you like Un/Taken?
If so, which photographer would you like to see in a next episode? Please leave a suggestion in the comments. Have a story to tell yourself? Fill in the form
I’ve created a new photo book for my most recent project. Hopefully it is in time for me to show it in next weeks’ Dark Rooms. If not, I will show some other books I’ve created recently.
‘It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.'
– Alfred Eisenstaedt
This quote is part of my E-book Unleash Creativity - 109 Inspiring Photography Quotes. You can support Darkrooms by buying this E-book. It’s even cheaper than a cup of coffee…
Till next time,
what a nice morning surprise!