As senior year came to a close, Kobe knew he had taken all the photos of paddock fences and farm animals he possibly could. His work was widely acclaimed, but to really cut your teeth as a photographer, you have to get to a place where you have many, many more subjects to test your talent. Although his family had expectations that he would stay and work in the family business, Kobe had worked very hard to get excellent grades, and he planned to accept the offer New York University gave him. He loved the campus when he went to visit, and he knew that was where he had to be. He had taken a number of pictures in Union Square, Lincoln Circle and Washington Square Park when he was visiting the school. He also loved the Village, with its eclectic shops, restaurants, bars and old world architecture, he knew this was it for him.
Roughly 1 minute after he dropped his luggage in his dorm, he hit the streets of Manhattan, taking photos of most everything he could find. The bridges provide so many opportunities for capturing views of the city that otherwise might not ever be seen, or at least not the way he would take these photos, he made pilgrimages to all the great bridges. The Brooklyn Bridge, with its pedestrian-friendly walkway above the crowds, was his favorite vantage point. He snapped pics at sunset, sunrise, midday, and even at night. The city is so gorgeous at night, but when you are in the middle of it, you become part of the lights and part of the atmosphere, without ever really seeing it for what it is, which is perhaps one of the most majestic places on earth. The views of the city, as captured at night from the likes of the bridges are just amazing.
His roommate would not be joining me until either later in the semester, or not at all. The details were sketchy, but with the entire room to himself, he used some of the space to develop his favorite photos: black and white. He liked the old fashioned way of developing photos
. The photos he captured by lying on his back, with his camera toward the sky, in midtown with his head hanging down the top step of the descent to the subway, were some of his favorite of all. He preferred taking these in the wee hours, when the city was still completely lit up, yet human traffic had died down. Sunrise photos taken around the city were very special, too. Taking photos at the top of the Empire State Building at night were always a treat, and if you know where to go, you can get some photos down toward the street from the top of the Empire.
The 9/11 Memorial has become very special to Kobe since arriving in New York. His plan is to take photos of each name, and make a digital montage for each family who lost someone. The research will be great, but Kobe feels this is a project well-worth his talent, and will make some people marred by catastrophic loss smile knowing someone who never knew their son or daughter are keeping their memory alive. Kobe wants to have a studio in the Village some day, showcasing all of his fabulous work that he loves, and the opportunities New York City has given him to find out what he is made of.