Finally caught up with the postprocessing work I had to do, and some time to write is here!
About three weeks ago, I was in New York for about a week. Saw some crazy things, met some even crazier people. What an incredible city, I think I can honestly say I’m in love with the big apple.
Something did strike whilst being there : there are so many interesting and various things to photograph. I’m not talking about the shot-to-death-tourist things, like the Statue of Liberty, or NYSE but just simple, everyday stuff that’s beautfully shown in this town.
Due to the amount and the variety of neighborhoods, districts, and ‘towns’ you get a complete change of scenery depending on where you’re walking. Whether it’d be in the trendy SoHo, cultural Chinatown or massive midtown, what you see varies greatly and therefore offers you an immense array of photographic opportunities. In a city this large, there’s always something to shoot.
The thing is, when you’re at the point where you can’t avoid to shoot the things everyone at home wants to see because otherwise they’ll club you to death, in order not to take good ‘ol (boring) pictures of it, try to be creative. This is an advice I follow each time, and it pays off most of the time.
Shoot the details! Aside from shooting the obvious landmark, shoot a detail that reflects the thing clearly, but that doesn’t show it. People will have that uneasy second of ‘why is that moron shooting a street sign?’ and then they’ll go ‘Oooh. That’s why.’ Try to imagine the grin on your face
Look Up! Some of the most interesting details are often located above head-level, which is why you miss ’em quite often. Shifting your head those extra 45 degrees can produce incredible images, because they’re the ones most people simply ignore.
Incorporate a new item in your scenery! Putting ‘the most important thing’ on the second place might produce an interesting image, because it won’t strike you as ‘that obvious’ put it’ll still be the picture of ‘the famous thing she saw in that movie’ and thus making everyone happy. It’s also a challenge to your compositing eye!
Try that new lens you bought. Especially if it’s a wide angle lens, like the ones we’ve discussed in an earlier thread. Those lenses really make their money’s worth when you visit a city that has prominent building and skyscrapers every friggin’ corner. They’re also incredible to use within majestic buildings like churches…
Shoot Macro. Although this might look like a misplaced tip, it’s really not. Macro can give you some splendid results, if you combine them with the details tip I gave you. Macro narrows your depth-of-field so much, that it really emphasizes on a subject/object’s properties, like in this case a Jackson Pollock painting at the MOMA.
So, these we’re a few pointers for shooting in a city. The thing you’ve always got to keep in mind, is that shooting in a city is always a challenge towards yourself to excel in composition, adaptation and creativity. It’s a great way to recharge your creative batteries, meet new and interesting people and get reboosted for doing the thing you love most.