I live for shots like this.
The shots that make you go, “what the eff is going on here?”
It makes you wonder about the people. Why are they here together? Why are the cops involved? What’s up with the head dress? How the hell do you walk around NYC wearing that thing? Is she in trouble? Is that guy in trouble?
As a street photographer, I don’t usually hang around long enough to find out. Because, Look! Something else is going on over there!
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I just figured out, that I’m not the center of the World.
The World is the center of me.
I decided to drag the shutter a little bit, trying to make a brighter more ethereal image. She looked very much at peace, stealing small moments from her day to rest her mind and body. The music in her ear buds are lulling her to sleep. Away from her busy life, she drifts into rest.
The motion stops and the doors open. Stand clear of the closing doors please. They shut.
“CIENTO CINQUENTA Y CINCO!!!”
She snaps her eyes open! A man is yelling at the top of his lungs, numbers in spanish.
“CIENTO CINQUENTA Y CINCO!!!”
I was aware he was yelling the number 155.
But why…I hadn’t figured out yet.
He calms down a bit as we arrive at the next station.
The woman sighs a small sigh and closes her eyes again.
The doors open. One guy walks in.
“CIENTO SESENTA Y OCHO!!!”
The newcomer steps back startled. Looks around puzzled and sits down carefully.
I look out into the station and see that we’re at the 155th St. station.
He was yelling the number for the next stops. The next stop was in fact 168th. I nodded to myself in that understanding as he started to talk (Yell at the top of lungs) to these two young hispanic girls sitting down. “HABLA ESPANOL?!?!”
“Nooooo” said the girls in unison.
“SI, TU HABLA ESPANOL!” “QUE TU SABE?!”
Which I roughly understood as, “Yes you speak spanish, you know you do!” or “Why do you say that!?”
Then he screams at them if they are going to graduate and go to college.
“YOU GO TO COLLEGE?!?!”
“I HOPE YOU GRADUATE!!!”
He repeated this about 5 times and got off the next stop.
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“Quick, look behind you.”
My girlfriend stares widely in bewilderment at something behind me. I trust her instincts and turn around with my camera on and ready.
She’s a very talented artist that understands composition and what a good subject looks like. I trust her wholeheartedly and already knew it was going to be good. This lady passes by us. It was actually more of a hobble or a wobble. I was first simply shocked that she was heading into oncoming traffic without any hesitation. Then I noticed how OLD she was and in my shock, I believe I lost a second or maybe even two seconds as she shuffled her way through.
As you can imagine, one or two seconds can make or break the moment. I need to work on my reaction time and reduce my “HOLY SHIT, is this really happening?” time. ^_^
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After getting this shot, my battery went dead. It was the first shot of the day. Of course, I didn’t have a spare on me. Even though I went out of my way to buy an extra one, I still didn’t have it with me. Such is my nature. I’m just going to learn from this and keep a spare on me at all times. Who knows what I could have missed? But at least I got this one. Always lookin’ at the brighter side of life. Thanks, Toy Bubble Gun man. I hope you make many people happy with your random bubbles floating across 40th st.
Today, I’ve launched my Facebook Page for UG/Street.
Check it out! Like and share as you please.
About two landings above, I caught a glimpse of this kid sliding down a handrail. He makes it down a long set of stairs with ease. He walks around to the next set and stands beside it sizing it up. I’m running down the stairs to catch up to him because I can tell by the grin on his face that he is about to slide down again. I reached the landing just as he hops on. I fired away about 3 consecutive shots and he was on his way. I’ve been getting better at following my instincts and observing. It’s helping me to set myself up for good shots. It’s like I’m trying to read the future. There are times I get into this strange mode. I’m hyper aware of my surroundings. I can feel the energy around me and I go to where it’s strongest. I lose track of time and space. The chatter and clatter become quiet. When I feel this happening, things start to fall into place. Beautiful moments show themselves to me, back to back to back.I think this is the true meaning of living in the moment. It just feels good. Even if I don’t get the shots that I intended, I realize that I’m having an awful good time.
I am pretty much hooked. Thank you for joining me on this strange and beautiful journey.
Please “Like” my facebook page and say hi! https://www.facebook.com/ugstreets
…and then she insists that I get photographed with the bird. The camera was pointed at me all of a sudden!
What amazing, random, and bizarre encounters NYC has to offer.
You only need to reach out and speak with respect.
This is the happiest bird I’ve ever seen in my life.
He lives somewhere far from his own habitat. Perhaps he’s never known it. He’s just a happy New Yorker. The nice lady that is the owner kindly asked that I don’t share photos of her, but insisted that I photograph the bird. I’m so happy that I stopped her. But then the tides turned….
I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. I went out to explore.
I wanted to get out. I love nature and the outdoors as much as I love the city. I need a balance. Just like anyone does. We need to find a balance. So! I went to Los Angeles. Took a car from LA to Denver. And in the middle I visited a desert town at the border of CA and AZ. Then the Grand Canyon. I climbed up north to Utah to visit the Navajo in their sacred lands. Some more hours north, I discovered Arches National Park in Moab, UT. Then into snowy Colorado and into Denver, where I flew back to NJ.
In a rented cabin somewhere in Moab, UT, I remembered this man with his violin. I took the photo quickly. He was so magnetic and happy. Dancing around with his violin as if it were a woman. I didn’t notice the sign when I was taking his photo nor when I was talking to him. Actually I probably did see it, I just didn’t bother reading it. That night when I came home to review my photos, I read the sign and felt so bad that I only gave him a dollar. I even considered giving him $700 for his violin. Why do I trust him and his sign? Look at him. Tell me this man is trying to rob you. If you’re a musician you know what it means to sell your instrument. You give away a piece of yourself. A tool of your expression. An extension. You are trading it for money that has no meaning but financial value. He is willing to trade his beloved instrument for the love of his wife. (Click to view Largely)
I walked right through these mob of kids. Come to think of it, I don’t even flinch when I see a wall of people like this. I just walk right on in. Mobs like this usually are concentrated in the middle and dissipates around the outside. But this one just stopped like a wall or rather, a clearing.
I realized as I stumbled out the other end of the human wall, that they were waiting for someone to come out of a building. Someone famous I presume. As I started to walk away I quickly turned around and fired, hoping to catch them all off-guard! And just as I did, strobe flashes went off in my face! That camera man on the right was shooting ME! But as you can see in the shot, I won the quick draw against him. His flash hasn’t gone off yet.
But the true champion is that one girl posing a thumbs up for me. Well done, fan-girl.
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