Jeff Hodsdon’s sensual, slow-motion portraiture gives flourishing new life to street photography.
Street style is stale and street photography feels like it passed away when Bill Cunningham did. There are only so many ways you can capture images of people on the street, but somehow, artist Jeff Hodsdon is reinventing the wheel when it comes to urban portraiture. The artist’s project The Moments fuses slow-motion video captured with a customized iPhone lens with Hodsdon’s impeccable eye for finding NYC’s most compelling denizens, creating one of the most addicting daily image blogs of the 2010s.
Shooting people that almost always seem aware and enthralled by the camera that shoots them, the artist’s short videos have an atmospheric haziness to them that provide them with an immersive, dream-like quality. This is in no small part due to Hodsdon’s unique setup for shooting, which involves an iPhone embedded with a custom-made adapter that allows the artist to attach a fully-fledged 35mm lens where the phone’s generic lens normally lies.
Combined with software he built himself (Hodsdon’s works as a software engineer for a day job), the artist is able to condense quick shots only a few seconds long into drawn out, slow-motion glimpses into the heart and soul of on-the-go New Yorkers.
Now in the second year of updating The Moments, Hodsdon originally started the project after feeling unsatisfied with the current state of image-making: “I was discontent with pictures of people on screens. I saw myself and others viewing a lot of photographs on screens – yet they were photos from cameras from an era with paper,” the artist tells The Creators Project. “It didn’t make sense to me why they couldn’t be more. I want a portrait to bring a viewer closer to the subject, for that viewer to have a greater understanding and feel closer to someone else.”
“I like to think there is a type of photograph that is in between stills and film. I find that not a lot happens in one second of time – but enough happens to give a viewer a greater feeling of connection,” Hodsdon adds. “For example, sometimes when people laugh, their shoulders go up a little. A still photograph won’t capture that movement. I want my work to celebrate people more honestly and tell more about them than a static image would.”