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The Village Seen: Photographer Dan Efram

Dan - blur
No. 126.  All photos by Dan Efram.

Today we launch a new occasional series, “The Village Seen,” to display the work of the many talented visual artists in our neighborhoods. Longtime East Village resident Dan Efram is a producer, manager and curator in various media, whose sensibilities as a photographer caught our attention.

As you can see in full on his Instagram feed, Efram has a knack for portraying architecture in surprising ways, sometimes making the viewer appreciate a previously dismissed building. And he captures special moments between people, which pass in a flash, before most of us have even noticed.  He answered a few questions about his work.

Dan - Playing through on Avenue A 080515
Playing Through on Avenue A.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

As a multi-media producer of music and moving image, photography has always played a huge part in my life. However, only within the last few years has it become an inextinguishable passion. Now the camera barely leaves my side.

As a kid, growing up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., my home was strewn with photos – mostly black and white and sepias – with the most memorable being of classical music composers, conductors and instrumentalists. Many striking, very dramatic, candid poses – a smile after a performance, dramatic hand gestures, or other moments captured immediately following a performance.

Dan - 3rd ave diagonal
“One Ten 3rd” (at 13th Street).

How did you get into photography?

Lacking any formal training, except one darkroom class many moons ago, my only insight has come from watching hundreds of photo shoots, performances and films. I have a circle of friends that have given me a lot of insight into how things are done. Until recently I’ve waited on the sidelines, but now I’m deeply interested in how to take a great shot.

Dan - Lafayette
Doors of 440 Lafayette Street.

How would you describe your style?

My goal with photography is to get to the point as quickly as possible. This doesn’t mean a photo can’t have depth or layers – but conveying that feeling, that moment, is what is ultimately a success or a failure. Am I giving the viewer a chance to connect and see what I see? To feel what I feel? I hope so!

In regards to architecture the relationship is much simpler. This goal focuses around highlighting lines and curves… hopefully in a way that is fresh.

Dan - dominoes
Dominoes on Avenue B.

What’s special to you about the Village?

The history of the Village and its unique characters and stories are tantamount to my development as a human. There are more glorious days ahead, but as a community we need to fight in order to preserve and learn. As a longtime New Yorker, I have adapted, but as a community, a city, we can’t afford to forget. I’m lucky to have had my adult years here, catching a few shining moments, many of which have a deep impact on who I am. The Village is known for its personalities, and I like to think I fit right in.

Dan - watertower
East 10th Street and Broadway.


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