There she is. A God among the mortals. She is pleased to see the train has arrived. A man abruptly walks in the shot, and reveals to us who she truly is for just this moment. By the time my camera closes its shutters, she’ll be gone.
I Love classic street photography. I like looking at it. I like the structure and fundamentals of it. The bold statements involved. But lately, I’m more into the unknown. The ethereal. The fantasy. The, “What the hell is going on here?”. The random head jutting into the shot that happens to be perfectly in focus. Or in this case, the man crossing right into my shot. I actually waited for him to walk by. To be honest I didn’t quite want him THIS far into the shot(He was very quick), but it’s ok!
It turns out, it’s exactly how I wanted it. Life should be portrayed as magical.
I want to contribute progressive work to the movement and show my own flavor.
Free travel, free money, free shelter, free life, and a little booze. You can do a lot of things to make some money down here. Just ask for it. Take off your shoes and ask for it. I saw it today. A man with no shoes walked around in the train repeating the words, “Can ya help me out? God Bless ya.” Over and over again. I think he got a couple bills. Then he sat down on the floor. It was a strange moment. I know which homeless guys to photograph. Or better yet, not to photograph. Some are on heavy drugs. It’s good to be able to tell what type of drug they might be on. This guy with no shoes did NOT look like an individual to point anything at. He was pretty cranked out. I could tell by the scratching it was somewhere in the heroin realm. They’re usually harmless, but this guy was pretty far out there. A bit erratic. Unpredictable. I used my best judgement and restrained myself. I can get pretty ballsy alot of times, but when the air isn’t right…it feels wrong for a reason. Sometimes it’s best not to find out. You have to check your ego when you are on the street. If someone gets in your face and tells you to erase that photo of them, then kindly oblige. Unless it’s really good then you RUN! No. I’m just kidding. You check your ego, then let it go. It’s not worth it. Would you rather get into a fight? Break your camera?!
Accept the confrontation and rejection. Then move on. There’s no time, there’s something going on over there.
NYC has the most absurdly large windows everywhere. People and buildings reflecting more and more shapes into the view. It actually makes more dimensions. Light does funny things upon windows. Take a closer look sometime. Even if you don’t have a camera.
This guy is peering into his wallet. Perhaps, surprised at how much it costs to come see art. Which brings up the question of the value and worth of art. Such like this abstract monstrous welded sculpture. What the hell IS it, anyway? Does it inspire you at all? Are you more concerned about how much you spent to come see this thing?
Grand Central Station, underground.
Enjoying the many different faces reacting to the same crazy faced dancer. The power of the entertainer is the ability to grab your attention. This one guy made all those people smile, in an instant. Laughing their faces off. The happy and positive side of the under ground.
But you know about balance..
Do you ever see anything good in the window of magazines? This is on a subway platform at 42nd St. There’s a little sketchy convenience store on the platform itself. I understand…You see the magazine’s and you’re like, “OH I wanna read about THAT bullshit!” And then you walk around the platform and buy it. But I mean, did you really think there was a chance you were gonna buy one? Really? There’s a reason why you never buy one. And that’s cus you’re broke, and you don’t need to buy that crap. You just wanted to take a look so you might be up and chic in your next conversation. After the first glance you realize that you really don’t give a shit about any of it.
I see this guy pretty often up here at the 175th St. station. He was standing next to the army ad that I see everyday. And this picture is right. That jazzy flutist is right. It only takes a moment to slow down and enjoy the music. It’s a blessing to have live music just randomly playing in the subways.
Street performers are one of my favorite subjects. Most don’t mind being photographed, and I always support them with some bills. I have regular street performers that I see. One of my more memorable one was an old man playing a saw with a violin bow. I’d see him 4 times a week every week, by the shuttle train from Grand Central to Time Square. I’d end up giving him 5 to 10 bucks a week. Sometimes I wouldn’t even stop to listen. I would just toss him a buck just cus I know that he plays the most heart wrenching saw music.
I’ve been in transition with my new camera. Nikon D5100.
It’s got a 35mm lens which makes the actual focal length about 50mm. I have read often that shooting in 50mm is the best way to train your vision. It forces you to get a bit close, but still have a little buffer. It makes you think more.
Some also say that the human eye sees in 50mm. Only with the sickest sensor that will ever exist.
This photo is what started it all. This lady lighting up her stogie, sparked a flame inside of me. I was still using my Olympus Pen EP-1(Micro 4/3) when I shot this. It’s a great camera for the streets but a little underpowered in low light conditions. I am often in the subway systems of NYC so the lighting conditions are always horrible. I’ve recently upgraded to a Nikon D5100 DSLR with a 35mm 1:1.8 prime lens. There has been a tremendous learning curve but these newer DSLR’s really make it easy and fun to experiment. With this control over my machine I’ll finally be able to overcome the erratic lighting of the underground.