11 Questions with Seth Tane ~ ‘In A New York Minute’ on view through Nov 10

Question 1: How do you pick your subjects?
Answer 1: I choose my subjects from the overwhelming storehouse of things I’ve seen and recorded that only increases daily as I keep my eyes wide open. I also keep a cloud-based journal, and a distilled sub-journal that’s a one-page list of key principles. When choosing among many images from a trip or experience, I score the highest those that engage the list. I’m looking for scenes that re-create the sense of “being there” more than making a “pretty” picture.

Question 2: Have you found that the industrial landscapes are changing or disappearing?

Answer 2: Not just the industrial landscapes…I seem to have a “black thumb”. Many of my urban scenes unintentionally capture the end of an era, with stores that have been there closing shortly after my reference photos are taken. Making a historical record is a noble cause too.Question 3: What changes do you expect to find in Charleston?

Answer 3: My last trip to Charleston was in June of ’10, and I borrowed an outboard boat so we could re-visit some of my stomping grounds, so I got a good feel for Charleston, updated. I’m looking forward to this visit too, and hopefully getting out and about again. I took lots of photos on my last trip, and expect to do the same on this one, looking for more paintings-to-be.Question 4: What advantages do you have with your “Sony on a Stick” THt also challenge your artistic ability?

Answer 4: Be careful what you wish for: I’m now finishing up the underpainting on the first of several new 4′ x 6′ urban night scenes based on photos taken from the 12′ high viewpoint. Because very little is “blocked” from view by up-close objects when you get up that high, you can see a long way down the avenues. The new painting shows all the traffic, sidewalk action and storefronts in great detail on three complete blocks and more of midtown Manhattan, a challenge to be sure.Question 5: How do you get the perspective of the container ships?

Answer 5: I use my fleet of small craft: a 10’/10HP outboard skiff, a sailing trimaran kayak or my inflatable kayak to approach by water, and I’ve shot lots of photos from bridges, bluffs and other ships.Question 6: How was riding out Hurricane Hugo on a container ship in the Cooper River? Was it safer than the mainland?

Answer 6: A story in itself. Susan took our 1 and 4 year old sons to the municipal auditorium and it was heavily damaged. I and a business partner survived the storm on our salvage ship but dragged two 2,500LB anchors on 30-to-1 scope at 16 kts, and rode up on Daniel Island where we spent the eye, lashed to two 60′ barges and a 40′ crewboat in the trees. The second half was so much worse that we blew off the island dragging everything with us backwards under the Mark Clark Bridge only to float up into the marshes as full size Palmettos blew past horizontally in mini-tornadoes. It took two of White Stack’s biggest tugs and a moon tide to pull it off the mud.Question 7: How have your sons been influenced by you?

Answer 7: Our boys are now either side of 30 and have definitely absorbed enough from watching and living through our escapades to be dangerous in their own right. One is a tech developer in Brooklyn, and the other builds and fabricates just about anything out of wood and steel and is now getting a shop and other structures closed in before winter on his newly acquired rural acreage outside White Salmon, WA.Question 8: Do you find the energy of NYC to be too much or just right?

Answer 8: I love the NYC energy in discrete doses. Two to three weeks is about right, and then I need a restorative stint where it’s green, clean & quiet. Having a family apartment in Manhattan stocked with everything I need so I can travel light and hit the ground running makes it easy and affordable, and I have a big circle of interesting friends there too.Question 9: Us there a underlying look at over consumerism and commercialism in the NYC urban scenes?

Answer 9: I take the NYC (and other) dense urban scenes at face value. Buying and selling has been going on for a long time. What looks crass now looks quaint later.Questions 10: What’s your favorite street vender dish?

Answer 10: The Halal guys everywhere do a lamb (or chicken) over rice with salad and sauce for $5 or $6 that’s a meal. I will admit I’m also fond of the guy on 11th ave around 24th that does grilled (not boiled) beef franks with onions & kraut for $1. The best egg and cheese on a soft Kaiser roll, no butter, a little salt & pepper is great around 10AM, but quality varies widely, so you gotta’ pick ’em.Question 11: What can you do in a New York Minute?

Answer 11: Eat a slice, take a GREAT photo, meet someone new and interesting, see something amazing, hear something astounding, cover a lot of ground on the right two wheeled vehicle, even in traffic…

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