I recently caught up with photographer Seymour Templar living in NY for a brief interview. Here it is:
Name: Seymour Templar
Place you live? NYC
Can you describe this photo as it relates to NY?
I was working in midtown Manhattan, with a good view of the Empire State Building, and have become accustomed to use it as both a reminder of how I love this city, as well as a weather vane. You can gauge pretty quickly the weather out there by looking at the skyscraper. This was a wet, snowy day.
The raindrops gives a summary of that morning in New York: cold and melancholic, almost timeless. New York changes so quickly, but you can always find its soul in random patches of solitude.
If someone was visiting NY what should they do?
A perfect day in New York would be a breezy spring day, sunny but cool, and starting at Bowling Green walk all the way from the southern tip of Manhattan, on Broadway, to Times Square. You would then go through many of the neighborhoods, and could stop virtually anywhere for drinks or food. Mind the new yorkers, though. They walk fast, but are welcoming & ready to help if you bother to ask. It’s best to walk everywhere in New York.
Tell us about your photography. Who inspires you artistically?
There are too many photographers I deeply respect, naming them always makes me feel odd because I will leave out so many. But if you want names, I greatly admire Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Alec Soth, Saul Leiter, Corey Arnold (GY contributor), Viviane Sassen… I wish I remembered more women photographers (Vivian Maier, Sheron Rupp, Francesca Woodman), they often have a subtlety male photographers tend to bypass.
It’s funny, because I tend to not be very interested in photography, nor talking about photography, but in the past 6 months or so I have rarely been so fired up than after seeing Ian Ruhter‘s short video “Silver & Light“. I think about it not as a job but an irrepressible way of experiencing the world around me.
What is your favorite place in the world, and why?
It’s a bit strange, because my answer to what is my favorite place could be Hong Kong or Saigon, but I’ll have to say the island of Maui, or Kauai, or even Kona. first the diving is amazing, and with a little bit of research you can find absolutely amazing landscapes, or long, beautiful and deserted beaches. The island life is also so different from living in a city like New York. The hiking is out of this world, you can climb a high altitude volcano, walk in a primordial looking rain forest, a desert, etc.
The marine wildlife is extraordinary. The local people unique. Each time you island-hop, you get a different landscape on each island. It’s marvelous: one can even ski on Kona, though I have never tried it.