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Street Photography

NYC - 2014

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NYC - 2014

I finally got to see what all the hype is about.

Usually when I'm travelling with my friend Brad it's business-related, but this trip was the result of a deal falling through after we'd bought tickets to New York. We decided we'd go anyways--a trip to the heart of western civilization only now I DON'T have to work? Yes please. 

I was both excited and nervous to take photos in such an iconic place, but the truth is that it's hard to take a bad photo in Times Square. I had to stick my arm out the hotel window for the shot above, which scared the heck out of me, but it was worth the risk. And I had the strap wrapped around my arm and held onto the strap with my other hand as well.

The pinks and purples on the buildings in this shot remind me of Gotham in Batman Forever. That might be Edward Nigma's building.

Our hotel room was on the 37th floor, looking out over one of the most famous places in America. How could I sleep?

I stayed up late and got up early. This self-portrait was taken at about 5 a.m. Generally photo/video ops are the only thing that can make me get up that early. And I promise I'm not overly self-involved--I just didn't have anyone else in my room to be a subject for my photos. I had actually gotten up that early to do a time lapse but I decided to take a few other photos first.

We started the day at the top of 30 Rock, which is just an amazing spot.

The view is unbelievable. I quickly realized though that I could only take so many shots of the landscape before I was repeating myself, and my eyes began to gravitate towards the people near me. I loved capturing these moments, watching them discover and observe in shared awe and wonder. 

We headed out onto the street and I was excited to try a little bit of street photography. At first I used my 24-70mm f/2.8 but once I took a few shots with Brad's 85mm f/1.8 and saw the bokeh and way it framed people as a portrait focal length, I shot with it almost exclusively.

I did a quick and clumsy lens change when I saw this older couple walking down this street together, switching back to my 24-70 for a wide shot. I love the way that building is so reflective, and I wish I could go back and do a time lapse of clouds reflecting in that building!

This was a fun moment. Brad noticed these people trying to get a toddler to smile for a photo, so he get behind the person taking the photo and started making silly faces to entertain the child. I love the way Brad can step across social boundaries with ease, bringing a natural and personal connection without making things awkward. He was successful in making not only the boy laugh, but the parents as well. I raised my camera and took a quick shot of my own to capture the fruits of his labor, and I got the people's contact info and emailed them the shot later. 

It was a rewarding moment of simple, genuine connection in a sea of busyness and chaos.

All these people were just trying to get from one place to another and I'm like HOLY COW A REAL NEW YORK SUBWAY!

I tried to play it cool. I do wonder if people talked more before mobile phones, or if they just stood silently and still avoided each other. 

Brad planned our day and made sure we were back to Times Square for dusk, because the Blue Hour (the hour after the Golden Hour) is the best time to get shots of buildings lit up against a blue sky. Brad thinks of just about everything. And I'm so glad, because these turned out to be some of my best building shots from the trip.

Brad went to bed and I decided to hang around Times Square for a while by myself. I was just so enthralled. 

I saw this guy take a photo with a Polaroid camera, and it was the only camera he had with him. Of course I loved that. I struck up a conversation with him and asked if I could take a photo of him with his Polaroid shot. He and his friends were from San Francisco, and he'd bought the camera in New York on a whim. One of his friends was doing a time lapse with a Canon DSLR. I took a few shots of him and his friends and sent it to them later. It was fun connecting with other wide-eyed creatives.

It was a city surrounded by hype, and it did not disappoint!

I also put together a little reel of our time there. I always thought, watching videos on Vimeo and stuff, that make cool videos would be easy in New York. After visiting I believe that more than ever. 

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