December 2013 Articles
Yes, it is crowded in New York City. Everyone knows that.
I must have been mentally prepared for the congestion, because I never really thought about it, and never felt the crush of people when I was there. Maybe that was because I was on vacation, or because I was so excited to be in a place I had wanted to visit my whole life. Maybe it was because I spent so much time looking at my surroundings through the camera lens. Whatever the reason, I just didn't recognize the crowds until I got home and looked at my photographs,
... and then I was pretty shocked.
This one from Times Square is my favorite. There are people and cars as far as the eye can see in this photograph, and everyone pictured seems oblivious of the surrounding crowd.
The proliferation of billboards and signage minimizes the significance of all of the people. Everything just blends in together.
People are headed in every direction, on every street corner.
Sometimes, the pedestrians don't even bother with crosswalks.
On most blocks it's actually faster to get from point A to point B by foot.
Can you imagine being a delivery truck driver in NYC? They can't possibly be paid enough.
City planners have made NYC a much more pedestrian friendly place than it used to be. Many streets have been turned into patio areas by adding a little paint and some folding chairs.
Strategically-placed planters create wider and safer pedestrian walk spaces.
After I returned home, I watched this Ted Talk which gave me an even greater appreciation for how well NYC manages so many people in such a small space. New York's streets? Not so mean any more
We walked much of the city, but the best way to see it is from the top deck of a tour bus. The double decker tour bus also provides a great vantage point for street photography. Most of these images were taken from the top of a bus.
You can learn a lot about the city too, if you are lucky enough to get a good tour guide. This guide wasn't one of the good ones.
This guide was awesome. He told really bad jokes and entertained us the whole way, but he was so into his stories that I feared he might lose his head on a street light.
As I revisit these images, I am taken aback by how easily I accepted the hordes, as though I'd been exposed to them all my life. The truth is I was more overwhelmed by the sights and sounds, the richness of the blending of historical and modern, with the variety of off-the-chart sensory delights that I didn't become truly conscious of the magnitude of the crowds, which were literally around every corner in the City. With my oldest son now firmly rooted in Manhattan, I have a built-in excuse to return, soon, and simply cannot wait to take on that challenge. When I do, I will more consciously immerse myself in the mass of humanity which NYC provides on a non-stop basis.
We did the touristy thing and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. Selfishly I wished there weren't so many other tourists doing the same thing, because they got in the way of my idealistic concept of the photographs I wished to take. Walking the bridge is a "must do" for anyone visiting the city for the first time, and the bridge is so overwhelmingly stunning that no photograph could really do it justice, with or without hords of tourists. These are the best of what I captured. Hopefully some day I can return to take more.
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I love to photograph reflections. I think it is the abstract qualities that I like most. I am also drawn to the contrasts between subjects, shapes and colors. Reflections offer a surprise element too. Some reflected details just aren't noticeable until the editing process starts. Editing becomes even more fun when I discover things in my images.
NYC offers an over abundance of reflections to photograph. I saw so many incredible images reflected in the glass buildings, that at times I'd forget to look at the actual buildings and people around me.
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This is one of the first images I photographed after arriving in the city. I shot this from inside of our hotel room on the 8th floor, looking straight out to the buildings behind us. Amazingly the image doesn't have any glare, which often happens when photographing through glass. This picture is proof that in digital photography, every interesting shot is worth a try, despite the apparent obstacles.
Here is a crop of the same image from above. I think I may like it even better than the full frame. I love all the reflected abstract details. If you look close, you can see people at their desks in the lower right windows.
I like the confused depth perception in this one. At first glance it is hard to tell what is in front of what.
This photo is a great example of how incredible NYC building reflections are in terms of colors and size. The street lamp and shop signs give the reflection some scale and perspective.
The glass building just outside of the 9/11 memorial create a gigantic canvas for a beautiful city reflection. The window construction crew in the lower left give it scale.
The Hearst Tower is reflected in this image. I love the geometric composition and the negative space created by the sky.
The Radisson Hotel reflection.
I love how the old brick towers are reflected perfectly in the glass building which is silhouetted against the sky. It almost looks like a giant billboard.
The blue glass reflection contrasts nicely with the red building. Too bad the building in the background isn't green. If it was, I would call this image RGB.
Sometimes reflections look even better in black and white.
The following two images are different views of the same curved glass building. I wish I knew the buidling name. The curved style is very distinct and unique and great for catching reflections.
I'm pretty sure I could spend a week in NYC just photographing reflections.