NEW YORK DAYS 1978-1984
Welcome to the hillerphoto website. It includes 50 years of work beginning with New York Days, where I grew up.
A few months before the pandemic changed our world I did a massive edit & scanning of the black and white negatives in my archive. The New York material from 1978-1984 stood out and I began a project with nine chapters that include: The Guardian Angels, Harlem (before gentrification), the Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn and New York's longest subway line: The “A” Train.
When I returned to New York in 1978, from two years in Brazil I found a rent-controlled apartment on the Upper West Side, close to the neighborhood where I was born before our family moved to Brooklyn.This was during the days of disco and the American hostage crisis in Iran. The Apple Macintosh computer had not yet been invented.
Most parts of the city had yet to be gentrified. New York was going through hard times and still feeling the effects of the 1975 fiscal crisis. People were afraid to ride the subways and it was common to see apartment doors with all kinds of elaborate locks. Mine had a steel bar rigged diagonally to the floor. We were still living in an analog world then. It would be another 20 years before the industry went digital. Most of my commercial assignments were shot in color but like many photographers of my generation, I loved photographing in black & white. Color was a distraction.
I don’t take my two eyes for granted. Photography has helped me make sense of the world. It’s provided meaning, perspective, and much joy in my life. After close to fifty years it still does. When I think back, I can’t imagine who I’d be today if I hadn’t found photography.