This is a study I did on bus stops. While I don’t think I’m going to move forward with this series, it wasn’t total a failure; I’m not disappointed with these images. They show a glimpse into a different side of the city, but these initial few are not quite in line with what I’m interested in doing going forward. This first image from a bus stop on Main Street in Flushing, Queens was the one which pushed me forward to look for these types of shots.
Bus Stop 1 (Main St, Flushing NY)
The wide angle perspective allows more of the actual street and the background architecture into the frame; its a wider slice. So while I’m going to keep going in a different direction with this perspective, I am not applying it to bus stops. But the bus stops were what really showed me the potential of the wide angle view from across the street.
Bus Stop 2 (160 Broadway)
The of act is waiting is mundane, and it can be difficult to find an interesting group of people. While there is a humanizing quality to waiting for and taking public transportation, it’s also a bit of a grind. These two shots reveal the mundane essence of urban commuting.
Bus Stop 3 (65 Broadway)
Below is more step in the direction that I’m going now, but it is still just a baby step. The people are getting more interesting and the scene shows the energy and vibrancy you would expect from a late afternoon street scene in New York City. I do believe that it is important to continually refine and improve your concepts, and I have specific ideas for large scale street scenes which I want to present with the power of the wide angle view. They’re still in progress, so for now I can only present these shots, which are their origins. While I’m working on creating new pieces, you can get a sense for where I’m going with these next two.
Street Scene Study 1 (West 34th St)
As you get wider it becomes harder and harder to both retain smaller details while not including things you don’t want in the frame – for me this might be parked cars, garbage, or construction. I now see the most difficult challenge of NYC street photography in wide angle, larger scale scenes. The more people, the more interesting the shot, but you get increasingly less of each person – so individually they lose visual interest, which puts a premium on everything else. The difficulty is that the further you pull back, the more visual distractions seem to creep in from every angle. Street photography is a much simpler proposition when shooting a focal length longer than 35mm.
Street Scene Study 2 (3rd Ave @ 60th St)