My photographic adventure in New York was born from a mistake. I came to New York to live permanently two years ago. I was 30 and had spent most of my life in Paris. But I had seen and heard so much about New York that I felt overwhelmed even before setting foot in the city.
I didn’t know what I was doing when I was making those pictures, and I didn’t really think about it until I went into the darkroom and saw the messy but amazing results. All the images overlapped one onto the next, creating weird shapes and complex layers, and revealing more about my new neighborhood than a thousand words.
That was when I understood that this approach, results of which can be viewed at www.stephaniederouge.com, would become my way of communicating with the city.
My first project was to walk up Broadway all the way from Wall Street to the Bronx — a journey of nearly 15 miles that I made over three days — shooting pictures as I walked. Following this one strand of Manhattan, I understood that the city’s unique energy is fed from the many people of varied backgrounds who live here and mix in harmony, all pursuing their own dreams.The shooting experience was magical, the developing of the film even more. To this day, that camera is still my exclusive tool for photographing New York.