I Survived New York and All I Got Were These Beautiful Photos
It’s been a few years since I’ve traveled to New York, and I’ve never visited with the primary intention of capturing the city’s beauty. This time around, that was my intent. In my past visits to New York City, my focus was food, drink and—let’s be honest—party! This time around, the vibe was very different. Some days I was so busy moving and shooting, I would completely forget to eat!
The adventure consisted of a very long, daily hike through an urban wilderness. On average, I walked 10 miles a day, with my longest walk being 15 miles. My usual routine when shooting is to wander around with headphones on and just go wherever my heart and intuition takes me.
This process typically lands me in very unfamiliar places, surrounded by very unfamiliar subject matter. But, I am careful and mindful of the neighborhood vibe. Here in Atlanta, I typically avoid touristy destinations on my photography shoots, and I planned to carry through with that in New York City. Those types of places have been captured by millions of photos; so a duplicate would not elicit the sense of wonder I was seeking.
Shifting the Light
When I first arrived in New York City, I tried to be in the streets around 9:30 a.m. I wanted to get some coffee and breakfast, and have as much daylight as possible, right? I think I was still in the mindset of Atlanta, where—in some areas—it’s really only safe to explore the city during daylight hours.
A few days in, it became clear my hosts and the friends I was meeting through Instagram were leading nightlives. (Like—going to bed at 5 or 6 in the morning—nightlives.) These are true residents of “The City that Never Sleeps.” After one long night out with them, I shifted to waking up at 2 p.m.
This turned out to be a much better pattern, as natural light is fairly useless after 9:30 a.m. anyway. But in late afternoon, the light starts to take on a soft golden color that slowly progresses into the oranges, reds and pinks of sunset. It’s very dynamic. And, it makes for great photos. I then shot until midnight or so, as l love the surprise element of shooting long-exposure photography. You never really know what you will get out of a 30-second exposure.
More Than Just Stock Photography
I would love to write more about my adventure in New York City. But for now, I’ll let the photos finish the story. I’ve dug through most of the shots and picked out some of the best to share.
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