Sunday, March 11, 2012

New York City's Street Shows

As the weather warms and draws New Yorkers from their winter cocoons out into the streets, the city becomes a festival of street shows. Anything imaginable (and mostly legal) is possible and even likely to happen. 

I was taking a photo walk through Greewich Village (the west village) and wandered into the SoHo District (South of Houston Street), which becomes a shopping mall on weekends. The abundance of people roaming the streets is a clarion call to street performers. I wandered past several jazz ensembles, a juggler, and three a cappella groups of doo wop singers, and stopped at the third because they sounded the best. There was quite a crowd listening to them, and as I enjoyed the music and watched their faces and expressions something about one of the performers seemed very familiar to me. I chatted with them after one of their tunes and mandatory sales pitch for their cds. And as it turns out, several members of the group, which by the way is called Spank (email spank.doowop@yahoo.com) told me stories of having been singing on the streets of SoHo for many years. I realized I knew one performer from photos I shot of his group in 1990 (at that time the group was called Solo). He's the singer on the far left in the first image and the far right on the second and third images.

This first image is the current group Spank, shot digitally, processed digitally. I gave it my standard slightly warm tone treatment.




The second and third images are of the initial group from 1990, Solo. They were both shot on Fuji Neopan 400 film and scanned into my computer with a Nikon film scanner. The first of these shots was scanned some years ago, so I added it as it was when I processed it at that time.



After I got home from the photo walk I dug through my film archives and found the rolls of images. I scanned another of them and processed the shot using my current technique - which includes adding the warmer tone to the image.