Photographs from New York City by Dimitri Mellos

“A poem compresses much in a small space and adds music, thus heightening its meaning. The city is like poetry: it compresses all life, all races and breeds, into a small island and adds music and the accompaniment of internal engines”. – E.B. White, Here is New York

I am more interested in poetry than fact, in the ever-so-slight transformation of reality achieved through a lyrical gaze rather than a supposedly “objective” depiction; I aim to inspire and move, not just to inform.

Yet, by being “poetic” I don’t mean taking liberties with reality. My approach to photography is a very straight one, shunning any kind of manipulation or distortion through technical or other means. My photography is founded on respecting and accepting the external world as encountered. The conjunction of my photographic gaze with chance and happenstance is essential to my approach, as is an emphasis on the evanescence of the encountered poetic moments I photograph.

I am interested in fleeting gestures and glances, the momentary field of interaction between passing strangers, the ephemeral dance of light and shadow and street life. I try to visually organize the chaos of the streets just enough to contain it in the photograph, but hopefully not much more than that. I aim for understated pictures that can demonstrate how the ordinary and mundane can be transformed into something mysterious and enchanting when photographed; pictures that pose rather than answer questions, and that evoke the magic immanent in everyday reality.

More than anything, what moves me is capturing the infinitesimal outward signs of an inner emotional life, the interiority of people even in the midst of the most public spaces.

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