shooting new york

Posted: October 29, 2011 in Photography
Tags: , , ,

It amazes me what some people can produce when they photograph in New York City. It takes a certain kind of genius to capture little moments in a city larger than life in such a way that makes the viewer react on a purely gut level. With their photos you can literally feel the sights and sounds of a particular neighborhood or connect with the emotions of the people on the street. Man, being able to portray the City in such a human way through photography is an enviable talent.

On the other hand photographing New York City is an absolute a challenge for me. Maybe it’s the non-stop activity, maybe it’s the overwhelming number of fast moving people, maybe it’s the sheer magnitude of everything. It’s probably all this and much more. I know part of the problem has been that I never go into the City with clear sense of what I want to shoot. Free association may be an effective technique to spark writing creativity, but with photography it leaves me frustrated. When I start pointing the camera at random stuff without a well-considered vision the results are predictable.

I’ve been told I’m too hard on myself – and not just when it comes to photography. That’s probably true. Nevertheless, on occasion I have managed to take a photo or two in New York which doesn’t make me retch. That’s not being too hard on myself, is it? 😉

On this freakishly cold October night with several inches of heavy snow on the ground I thought it’s as good a time as any to share a few of these shots with you. I hoping looking at random photos from warmer days will somehow lessen the chill in the air!

Oh, and just to be perfectly clear, I appreciate your good and encouraging thoughts (as always). However, this is NOT, I repeat NOT, a plea for reassurance or affirmation. Instead I will happily take cash.

  1. sparklebumps says:

    Awesome photos! But you forgot the Alice statue in Central Park. 🙂


  2. I love, love, love the park bench one and the subway one. The first one is fabulous, too, because of the juxtaposition of a simple sailboat with a huge, complicated city. Very cool!


  3. I especially like the Joyce sign photo (because it’s my middle name – Joyce, not sign) and the black and white photo – there’s a sense of traveling down the stairs with the woman. The couple on the bench photo is nice but the headless bystander in the background is a bit distracting. The first photo is also very nice – the sailboat again gives a sense of movement to a static image and there is a crispness in the buildings.

    When I hit the lotto, I’ll send some money your way!


    • John says:

      I’ve never been in the Joyce theater, but I love how it looks from the outside. And I’m particually taken with the B&W shot.

      I’m not picky. Feel free to send money now! 😉


  4. These are awesome…they perfectly capture the pulse of the city, on both personal and impersonal levels.


  5. whiteladyinthehood says:

    My fav – is the first one!! Very nice.


  6. Hey John, I checked you out after you “liked” my post. I’m a whore for validation. Anyway, I’m glad I did. But, just so you know, I have been doing this for 18 months, and I have on occasion asked people to send me money. It hasn’t worked yet. So good luck with that.


  7. You’re just going to have to settle for my good and encouraging thoughts as I’m so broke I can’t pay attention.

    What the hell are you talking about? These pictures are awesome! That first one is as good as any “professional” shot I’ve ever seen. I could keep going, but you don’t need it. *snort*

    But then I have only ever been able to take pictures of my thumb and people without heads, so what do I know? *grin*


    • John says:

      It’s all about how you sell it. You could claim your photos of headless people is a commentary on how society values bodies over brains. Wrap it it some nice fancy language and next thing you know you’ll have an opening at a gallery!


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