Kodachrome Photos of 1980s NYC Shot By A Very Shy Student
These Kodachrome photos of 1980s NYC shot by a very shy student reveal a true insight on how life in the Big Apple was actually like almost four decades ago. It also shows just how much things have changed in one of the world’s most fascinating cities.
Back in the 80’s, Robert Herman was a film student at NYU. During his university years, he felt all alone and lost, not finding his way in life. Both personal and professional. A big city like New York can do that to “the new kid in town”, especially if you are a shy person.
In order to ‘conquer’ the city and his inner introvert, Robert Herman took to the streets of 1980s NYC and began taking street shots of people and places. He used his Kodachrome camera as a way to interact with strangers. And it worked.
“I felt like a very vulnerable person,” Robert Herman recalled in 2013. “Photography was my intermediary between me and the world. I was trying to find peace wandering the city.”
“After a while you get in a Zen space and the world slows down. And when you’re an outsider, you notice things that other people just walk by.”
“SoHo, Tribeca and the East and West Village in the early ’80s were wonderful places to shoot,” Robert Herman added. “The buildings were short so there was direct sunlight on the street. My inspiration for making a street photograph always starts with the light and the color.”
“I shot Kodachrome because I loved the way the colors popped. SoHo was still the place where the artists lived, graffiti was everywhere I looked and it made a great background for some of my photos. Kenmare Street was on the edge of Little Italy and still an Italian neighborhood, so I was constantly making pictures.”
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Robert Herman’s book is called “The New Yorkers” and it’s available on Amazon.