Editor's Note: Almost Too Pretty | April 2022 | Editor's Note | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge Editor's Note: Almost Too Pretty | April 2022
David McIntyre
Newburgh waterfront

In December, I reached out to one of our photographers, David McIntyre, to talk a bit about the upcoming year’s shooting schedule. David, you see, had photographed all of the cities and towns we featured in our Community Pages section in 2021. Over the course of the year, he had shot thousands of photos of New Paltz and Hudson and Poughkeepsie and Kingston, and all the everywheres. Only a select few images make it into the magazine each month, however (though we do publish more online). I wondered if David wanted to mix it up in some way in 2022, or if he was just over it as an assignment and ready to direct his lens elsewhere.

Without skipping a beat, David told me that he was excited to return to the municipalities he’d shot in the past and photograph different people and find new storytelling angles with his camera. Allow me to tell you, dear reader, how relieved I was. David McIntyre is a master of his craft, as I hope you’ve noticed. (If you haven’t yet been dazzled by his work, skip to page 40 now.) When I asked what might help to deepen the impact of this project, bring it to the next level, he suggested spending a week embedded in each community, living and breathing like a Saugertesian or a Beaconite. And while this humble magazine does not have that kind of budgetary fortitude, I admire David’s innate understanding of his process and what tweaks it would profit from.

For this issue, David spent several shooting days in Newburgh in early March. After sending over 75 images from his multi-day shoot, David sent another email with a final image and this note: “I forgot to add this one to the collection, one of my favorites.” It’s the photo above. Gulls circle a broken-down dock populated by pigeons and more gulls. The Hudson is calm in the winter afternoon haze and a freighter plows north, having just passed through the Hudson Highlands and Bannerman’s Island. The sky is blue with wispy clouds.

The photo isn’t in the community profile of Newburgh in the current issue. It didn’t make the cut. One reason is that the image isn’t specific enough to Newburgh and doesn’t seem to capture the zeitgeist, the now, of the city. Remove the Highlands in the background and it could be a spot almost anywhere from Peekskill to Coxsackie. Unlike some of David’s other photographs, which clearly illuminate the city’s idiosyncratic character.

For instance, a portrait of Genesis Ramos standing outside a bodega. Ramos, a Newburgh native and the daughter of Honduran immigrants, was recently elected to the Orange County Legislature. The youngest person ever elected to the Orange County Legislature, she is also the first woman of color ever to serve as a legislator. Ramos’s election is a tremendous achievement in and of itself and a possible bellwether of changes to come in county politics.

Or, a photo of sculptor Daniel Giordano in his studio—in his grandfather’s former garment factory, located in a decidedly unfashionable part of the city. A rising star in the art world, Giordano will have a solo show at MASS MoCA next year. Much of his work is made from detritus he finds while exploring former industrial sites along the waterfront.

Nevertheless, I felt bad not including the image despite the fact that we had no room for it. When I asked David why he liked the photo so much, he replied, “I guess it’s just one of those fleeting moments without any effort that make it special. The guy in pink crossing Broadway [photo on page 3], that’s the opposite—I waited around for over an hour hoping someone interesting would come along.”

Well David, here’s the work of an effortless moment in print. It might just be too pretty, if you ask me, but we’ll run it anyway.

Brian K. Mahoney

Brian is the editorial director for the Chronogram Media family of publications. He lives in Kingston with his partner Lee Anne and the rapscallion mutt Clancy.
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