Local photographer Jimmy Kastner has been snapping photos of the City since his first major camera purchase in 2004, and has created tons of amazing shots since. Growing up in New Jersey, Kastner has always been enamored with the City skyline, and thus he likes to focus his lens on the Cityscape of Manhattan and it’s iconic buildings.
Viewing NYC has showcased a few of his photos previously on the site, including Monday’s amazing capture of lightning striking the Bank of America tower, so we invited Kastner to share a bit more of his collection. The photographer was also kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
How did you start with photography?
I have been into photography since I was a teenager, mostly shooting friends and stuff for yearbook class. In 2002, I started working for Moto Photo after school as a lab technician and got more involved in the inner workings of photography. In 2004, I bought my first SLR camera and jumped right into it. I taught myself the basics and brought my camera everywhere I went. In 2008, I went back to school at Monmouth University and minored in photography. My professors Anne Massoni and Mark Ludak have helped immensely in refining my skills and going beyond how to use a camera. Since my graduation in 2011, I still take my camera everywhere and my photography has really started taking off.
How do you choose your subject matter?
I personally feel that the journey is just as important as the destination and that many of life’s moments, while many ordinary at the time are not quite as mundane as they seem. My subject matter is life as it happens. I looked up how many days old I was a few years ago and determined I would turn 10,000 days old on February 9, 2012. I always wanted to do a photo of the day project and decided that would be the best time to start. Each photo of the day represents the most significant moment of my day or some moment that made the largest impression on me, and even though there are a lot of dull moments and moments that seem unrelated to my life’s story, the project as a whole represents some important stories in my life. I’m at 11,208 days so far and sometimes I feel like this project is still unfolding. (Here are days 10,000 to 10,999 and 11,000 on.)
What’s your favorite part of NYC to capture?
I really enjoy exploring new places in New York City. I have lived in New Jersey all my life, always about an hour’s drive away, and each visit offers a completely new experience. Some of my favorite places to visit are Central Park and anywhere I can see the skyline. I think growing up in New Jersey, I have learned to appreciate the City from a New Jersey perspective. Going into New York is always a lot of fun, but seeing it in its entirety makes me stop to take it all in.