Friday, March 1, 2013

Reactions to a Street Photographer (Me)

Some people try to hide, or pretend I'm not there:

Some people get annoyed:

And some people are way cool:

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gloomy Day

Sometimes when I make plans to go for a walk and shoot the weather doesn't cooperate. Wait, let me rephrase that. The weather just does what it does, but it's not what I anticipated or what I might feel comfortable walking in. There is, after all, such a thing as wonderful rainy day pictures. If my camera gear was waterproof there'd be no issue. The Fuji X-Pro1 isn't even weather 'sealed'.

Wednesday was just such a day. I shoot quite a bit without looking through the viewfinder, so to protect my gear I took along a plastic bag with a hole cut into the edge through which to  poke the lens. Did the job just fine. I found a neat spot right at the corner of 58th street and Fifth avenue which afforded me just enough protection from the drizzle while being able to see clearly in both directions, and I set up shop. The gloom of the day created a wonderful atmosphere on the street - people seemed very often to be deeply immersed in thought.

But all was not doom and gloom. I had a wonderful conversation about Cuban cigars

And met a fellow photographer with a Leica M9 (well used)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More from my Sunday outing

Just a couple of shots in this post from my Lower Manhattan walk from the weekend.

What!?!?! I didn't do it!

Checkin' You Out!

Monday, February 25, 2013

SoHo Streets

On Sunday I spent some time in the SoHo district of Manhattan. Quite a few yeas ago it was a very old, run down neighborhood of cobblestone streets and warehouses - ideal for artists who needed large spaces at relatively cheap rent for lofts. The pattern for these neighborhoods in New York is that the artists move in because of the cheap rents and open spaces, then stores and restaurants open to service the artistic community. This then attracts attention of more upscale people who want to 'slum' for a few hours and dip their toes into the esoteric opportunities to shop and eat at those establishments. Then come the galleries that display the work of the local artists, and on their heels come the real estate developers who renovate the property, increase the rents - which drives the poor artists out of the neighborhood - and attract trendy stores which draw the crowds of 'cool' shoppers.  The artists are long gone to other neighborhoods where process starts all over again - to wit: Chelsea, Tribeca, Williamsburg, and now the Lower East Side.

For me, as a street photographer, it's a gold mine for characters and attitudes. On any given weekend afternoon there are many street vendors of books, scarves, jewelry, sunglasses, etc. And there are a number of musical groups who perform for the 'hip' strollers. I'm usually drawn to the groups because I like to photograph performers, but this Sunday I tried something a little different. I found a doo-wop group called Spank (I've posted images of them here in the past) on Spring Street, but rather than photograph the performers, I turned my attention to the audience to capture their reaction to the music. That's a more difficult subject to show with context and a story, but an interesting challenge. The performers are very close to the listeners and interact with them - especially when a pretty woman walks by.

There she was just-a walkin' down the street
Singin' 'Do wah ditty ditty dum ditty do'

Listen to it here. It ain't rap!

And then there's this, yeah 'She's MY girl!'

Sunday, February 24, 2013

NOT Halloween

Today was the Jewish holiday of Purim. In a very small way kind of like Halloween - kids get dressed up in costumes and eat lots of sweets and have a blast. I took a walk in lower Manhattan this afternoon and ran across this very scary dude. After I took his picture he had quite a bit to say to me, none of which was particularly intelligible.