When I was in New York last year I met quite a few people and one of the people that others mentioned was Joe Giordano. We have been following one another since connecting through the people I met there.
When I approached Joe about featuring him he said that he wasn’t a professional photographer, so perhaps not right for this. I told him that I don’t just feature professional photographers, I like to introduce people whose work I like, and I like his. I am sure you will like it too.
My first question, where in the world are you?
I am located in New York, Long Island to be specific. We are very lucky to have beautiful shorelines and gorgeous beaches on both the north and south shores of the island.
Traveling east on the island we are surrounded by vineyards and heading west we are just a short drive or train ride to The Big Apple (Manhattan).
While he has lots of colour images there are also many black and white ones too. He seems as committed to the monochrome ones as he does the colour ones.
My second question, how long have you been taking photos and why?
I have been taking photos for about 45 years (non professionally). My first camera was a Canon TLb which was a manual mechanical camera as most cameras were back then. I quickly outgrew that camera and purchased a used Nikon F meterless camera. My big decision then was which hand held meter to buy. I remember how bullet proof that camera was and I took a lot of images with it as the years went by. Taking the images was only half the job the real work came when it was time to come home and process the film and get into the darkroom and print the images.
A lot of people are getting back into film but as for me I fully embrace digital. I feel that it gives me more flexibility than the old darkroom days and I never really liked the smell of stop bath and fixer anyway, LOL.
Photography has always been a hobby of mine but since I retired it has become more of a passion or sort of therapy for me. It gets me out of the house and no matter what I am taking images of it always puts my mind in a great place. I really can’t think of many things I would rather do than be out in nature with a camera.
When I look at Joe’s work I think simplicity. They are very minimal and sometimes I think many of us can get carried away trying to put too much into a frame, but I like how Joe frames his work.
The third question was about his inspiration.
I have always been inspired by nature, how delicate or powerful it could be. Living on Long Island the weather could range from a powerful NorEaster storm one day to a tranquil day at the beach the next. Its challenging to capture the different moods of the day which I enjoy.
I am also inspired by anything old, rusty or I guess you would say in a natural state (unrestored). Long Island has an abundance of old farms and historic places to visit so there is no shortage of old things for me to photograph. I also love URBEX photography and anything deteriorating.
Recently I have really been inspired by street photography and photographers like Valerie Jardin and Zack Arias. I love traveling into Manhattan and meeting up with fellow Monochromia contributors Patti Fogerty and Stacy Fischer spending the day taking street images. I love the gritty nature of Manhattan and the beauty of its many parks and street performers. Its such a perfect place to practice the art of street photography.
As with many photographers there is something very homely about his images. You really get the feeling that you are looking at the world around him. No pretentiousness, just what is there.
My fourth question was if there was anything special about the way he worked.
That’s a tough question because my work is sort of all over the place, LOL. I really don’t adhere to any specific genre of photography I just try to capture what I see in the moment. I guess thats one of the advantages of taking images for your personal pleasure rather than for earning a living. It takes all the pressure out of it and you are left with the enjoyment. To make a long story short I really don’t think there is anything special about my work.
There are some beautiful photography places that Joe photographs. I guess it is one of those things where if you look hard enough around you, you will find many places to photograph. I’ve certainly found that.
My last question was what gear do you have?
For a good part of 43 years I was a Nikon user with a generous amount of lenses. When I was forced to retire because of deteriorating back issues a couple of years ago the heavier gear and big lenses were a problem for me so I sold all my Nikon gear and starting using The Fuji X system. I have enjoyed the past few years of using the lighter Fuji mirrorless gear and i actually think it made my work better as a result.
My gear consists of a pair of Fuji X-T1’s with 14,18,35,56 and 60mm macro primes and 10-24, 18-55 and 55-200 Fuji zoom lenses. I also use a Fuji X100T for street shooting. I never quite got used to using my iPhone for taking images (I really wish I could) so I bought the Fuji X30 to carry with me all the time. I could quickly upload any images via the WiFi function to my iPhone and then post them to my Instagram, Twitter or any social media that I wish. Maybe someday i will get the hang of taking great images with my phone like so many other people do.
I would like to thank you Joe for giving me permission to feature him and his work here. He has given me some blogs for you to check out his work, MONOCHROMIA, The Visual Chronicle and X-tended Vision. I hope you will all go and take a look his sites.
I have a gallery for you now of some of the images that I really liked, I’m sure you will like them as well.