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Photographing Spirituality

James Estrin, co-founder of the The New York Times Lens blog will be exhibiting a collection of his work documenting human spirituality at the 92nd Street Y on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.

A woman performed a Hindu ritual in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. 2005.

Michael Winerip, who is familiar with Esterin’s work notes:

Having worked many, many 12-hour days with him, I can say firsthand that James Estrin’s photos definitely don’t happen by themselves. Beginning Jan. 7, a collection of his work documenting human spirituality will be exhibited in a solo show at the 92nd Street Y on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan. It is a subject to which he has repeatedly returned since he started at The Times in 1987, and encompasses everything from photos at churches and synagogues to prison sweat lodges and childbirth suites.
While some of the worst atrocities in history have been committed by people warring over religion, Jim hunts for the commonalities among faiths.
Still, photographing spirituality is a tricky business.
“The challenge for me is capturing the essence of an invisible event,” he said.
He can see the invisible because he is spiritual himself, and knows where to look. Jim believes in God and man. “The earth was created imperfectly,” he said. “It’s our role to try and perfect it.”