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Out In The Streets

Smaller and smaller, longer and longer, until all I saw was the right moment, the right frame, until all I saw was the shot I wanted to take.

Ah, here it is.

This is what I’d come to the promenade looking for, this feeling of catching her within the crowd, of capturing a moment.

This set of photos is based on a very simple concept: walk every block of Manhattan with a camera, and see what happens. To avoid missing anything, walk both sides of the street.

That’s all there is to it … Of course, if you wanted to be more ambitious, you could also walk the streets of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. But that’s more than I’m willing to commit to at this point, and I’ll leave the remaining boroughs of New York City to other, more adventurous photographers.

Oh, actually, there’s one more small detail: leave the photos alone for a while — unedited, untouched, and unviewed. By the time I actually focus on the first of these “every-block” photos, I will have taken more than 2,000 images  — plus another several thousand in the various spots in NYC where I traditionally take photos. So I don’t expect to be emotionally attached to any of the “every-block” photos, and hope that I’ll be able to make an objective selection of the ones worth looking at.

As for the criteria that I’ve used to select the small subset of every-block photos that get uploaded: there are three. First, I’ll upload any photo that I think is “great,” and where I hope the reaction of my Friends will be, “I have no idea when or where that photo was taken, but it’s really a terrific picture!”

A second criterion has to do with place, and the third involves time. I’m hoping that I’ll take some photos that clearly say, “This is New York!” to anyone who looks at it. Obviously, certain landscape icons like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty would satisfy that criterion; but I’m hoping that I’ll find other, more unexpected examples. I hope that I’ll be able to take some shots that will make a “local” viewer say, “Well, even if that’s not recognizable to someone from another part of the country, or another part of the world, I know that that’s New York!” And there might be some photos where a “non-local” viewer might say, “I had no idea that there was anyplace in New York City that was so interesting/beautiful/ugly/spectacular.”

Stay tuned as the photo-walk continues, block by block …

 

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