My month in New York City

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Bob, Nic, Armando, Dan, Rick, and everyone else who's commented - THANK YOU! I'm doing this because I love doing it. I'm having a blast. I don't do it for praise, but the nice comments still feel good! Particularly coming from folks who's photography I respect so much to begin with.

Armando, that shot through the circles I didn't even think of as a street shot. It was as far from spontaneous as anything I've ever shot. My wife and daughter and I were having coffee on that bench on the playground. I finished first and got up and walked around shooting for a few minutes. That's them on the bench. I guess the cyclist lends a bit of "street" spontanaity to the shot, but I wasn't even aware of him or her until I processed it. It was a fully planned and contemplated shot. There, now all of my secrets are out in the open! :)

-Ray
 

Country Parson

Top Veteran
Apr 5, 2011
North Carolina
Dan
Ray, you bring up the topic of "planned" with regard to street shots. When I look at sites with a lot of street photography it often occurs to me that some of them are planned, even to the point of using a friend or model. Strictly speaking that would not be traditional street photography. Yet, a certain amount of planning goes into a street shot of the sort that involves waiting at a particularly photogenic spot for the elements of moving people etc. to fall into place. We know that Henri C-B did this. So I guess we come back to the maxim that there are no rules, though some of us would say that the use of models for the shot on the streets would probably move the picture out of the street photography category. I also like that shot with the circles. Nicely composed.
 

Petach

Hall of Famer
Oct 22, 2011
UK, Essex
Peter Tachauer
Ray, you bring up the topic of "planned" with regard to street shots. When I look at sites with a lot of street photography it often occurs to me that some of them are planned, even to the point of using a friend or model. Strictly speaking that would not be traditional street photography. Yet, a certain amount of planning goes into a street shot of the sort that involves waiting at a particularly photogenic spot for the elements of moving people etc. to fall into place. We know that Henri C-B did this. So I guess we come back to the maxim that there are no rules, though some of us would say that the use of models for the shot on the streets would probably move the picture out of the street photography category. I also like that shot with the circles. Nicely composed.
In street photography preparation and opportunity = luck. Can't remember who told me, but I think it is true. Prep your camera, find your location wait for mr/mrs opportunity to walk right on by.
 

Djarum

All-Pro
Jul 10, 2010
Huntsville, AL
Jason
Ray,

I finally got through all your photos. All very excelent. I like the Pano you did with your new fuji.

I can't say I've ever been to NYC. I know I'd love to live in Atlanta, but after seeing the housing costs to live in downtown Atlanta, I think I'll pass, LOL.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
Houston, Texas
Jack
Armando, that shot through the circles I didn't even think of as a street shot. It was as far from spontaneous as anything I've ever shot. My wife and daughter and I were having coffee on that bench on the playground. I finished first and got up and walked around shooting for a few minutes. That's them on the bench. I guess the cyclist lends a bit of "street" spontanaity to the shot, but I wasn't even aware of him or her until I processed it. It was a fully planned and contemplated shot. There, now all of my secrets are out in the open! :)

-Ray
I don't think "street" photography has to be spontaneous. And yes, the cyclist in HCB's photo is the prime example of that. Strangely, I have never really particularly cared for that HCB photo. I like your circles photo better.

To add to what Dan wrote, I believe there's some planning involved in every photo taken. The spontaneous photos were just planned in much less time!
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Dan,

Regarding spontaneous vs planned (partially) street photography, Armando, Amin, and I had a longer and more detailed discussion of that than you're probably interested in a podcast a couple of months ago. The podcast is here, if interested in checking it out:

https://www.photographerslounge.org/f97/serious-compacts-podcast-3-interview-ray-ray-sachs-6170/

There are definitely different ways of going about it. I've thought about it a lot and have tried a few methods. I tend to lean toward the more spontaneous. And even those shots that are set up ahead of time, I just sort of establish the scene and composition and then hang out and wait for somthing to happen there, even if by "happen" I just mean someone walks through the scene! But this photo of the circles with my wife and daughter sitting on the bench, it wasn't even THAT spontaneous - they were sitting and talking and I could have taken as much time as I wante...!

-Ray
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
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There's something about that cloaked figure in blue in the rooftop garden scene that I find particularly cool - and I love the blue and green windows...and all the little window reflections that give us glimpses of what the rest of that part of the city is like. Very neat to have so many details to look at and yet, the big picture of the scene itself is just as wonderful. :drinks: One of my favorites!

And the one of these two pals...are they, by chance, walking along "The High Line"?
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
There's something about that cloaked figure in blue in the rooftop garden scene that I find particularly cool - and I love the blue and green windows...and all the little window reflections that give us glimpses of what the rest of that part of the city is like. Very neat to have so many details to look at and yet, the big picture of the scene itself is just as wonderful. :drinks: One of my favorites!

And the one of these two pals...are they, by chance, walking along "The High Line"?
Hmmm, cloaked figure in blue??? I hate to blow the illusion you're enjoying so much, but I THINK its just a closed umbrella... :eek: But thanks for the comments on the rest of the photo - I kind of like it too. No great composition or image to it, but a LOT to look at. I can spend some time exploring that one.

And, yes, the High Line. I've about worn out the High Line all by myself. I'm staying just a couple of blocks from there and I've had several visitors in the last few days. I went there twice by myself before anyone had arrived and now a few more times as tour guide (kind of funny, ME acting as a tour guide in NYC!) and I'm almost sick of it at this point! An amazing public amenity, of which there are so many in this City. The parks and even just the medians along various key roads are SOOOOO well done and thorouhly maintained. I don't think there ever was a recession in New York City. With Wall Street continuing to pay taxes through the whole process, the city's budget must just be enormous, even on a per-capita basis. I've never seen public facilities like this ANYwhere. Not to even mention Central Park, which is basically an urban miracle all on its own. Amazing place...

-Ray
 
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BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
betwixt and between
BB
:rofl: I must be too steeped in gothic literature or it's The Lord of The Rings influence? I could have sworn that was someone dressed in a beautiful blue hooded cloak! Well, too bad...but I still really like that image very much - and the red stucco looking building down on the lower left is great, too. I think it is a very strong composition and like the image very much, Ray.:2thumbs:
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Back to "Work" - April 9th

OK, a great visit with my wife, daughters, and a couple of other friends and relatives over the weekend - our older daughter and I planned a surprise for my wife and pulled it off. She flew in from Seattle for a long weekend and my wife didn't know anything of it until she showed up - best surprise I've ever managed to pull off. But they're all back home now and I'm back to shooting with a bit more sense of purpose. A bunch of street and a bunch of scenic in today's set. Here are a few...

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And the rather typical reservoir shot:
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-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I was thinking "What, that's just an umbrella". I'm glad I wasn't the only one ;). Lovely image.
Thanks DJ. Re your earlier comment, yeah housing in Atlanta is expensive (I have a niece there), but housing in New York City, at least in Manhatten, is really stratospheric. I've looked at the ads in some realty office windows and it's all I can do not to laugh. Or cry.

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Spent the morning down at Wall Street and then took a tour of the 9/11 Memorial. Wasn't really feeling the street shooting but the memorial was moving, to say the least. Was asking one of the security guys some questions with one of the construction workers nearby. He quickly interjected on one of the questions and turns out he's a 9/11 conspiracy believer - very disconcerting to say the least.

Mixed in some epl3 shooting with the X-Pro today - sometimes 28mm just isn't wide enough.

The security at the Stock Exchange is pretty overwhelming:
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The remnants of Occupy Wall Street are strewn about the city now. This is right across from the Stock exchange right on Wall St. There's another group up in Union Square - there are probably others but I haven't run into them yet.
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Subway sculpture - this little thing is about 6" tall and stuck over in a pretty dark corner:


And the Memorial:






-Ray
 

Briar

All-Pro
Oct 27, 2010
Scotland
Karen
Ray, I'm really enjoying your April in New York. I've never been before but its good to see the place through your eyes. Keep having fun!
 

Country Parson

Top Veteran
Apr 5, 2011
North Carolina
Dan
Hi Ray. I am enjoying your NY "work" a great deal. It is the first thing i look for these days when I log on to SC. I have a question about technique. Some of your pics of people look like the second one above (the man with the mustache), slightly slanted and low viewpoint. Do you take shots like that with the camera down at your side, on the sly as it were?
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Thanks Dan - I'm enjoying it too! The process has really been a blast, immersing myself in photography nearly every day...

As for technique, I've been carrying the X-Pro 1 on a standard neck strap with the camera sitting at about upper belly level. And I do, in fact, do a lot of street shooting without raising the camera to my eye. I generally set the camera for zone focussing so I can focus on framing and getting the right moment but I don't have to worry about auto focus hitting the right spot on those shots. And I find with a 28mm lens or anything wider, I'm very comfortable knowing what's going to be in the frame even without using the viewfinder or LCD to frame the shot. MANY of my street shots are done like this (not all - for example the shot of the older woman looking out the window at me with the Bagels and subway route sign and the billboard above was shot at eye level). Most don't look so obvious because they're not taken at such a close distance. I also do some eye level shooting, but probably my favorite mix of the two is with a flip up screen like the EPL3 or a Nex, where I can hold the camera down at my belly and look down into it to frame the shot, like an old twin lens reflex. Some of the shots above, like the guy next to the tree contorting himself to take a photo, and the one above it with the people walking toward me, were done with the EPL3 looking down into the screen.

There are a lot of ways to shoot. I love using a viewinder for a lot of shooting but for street shooting, I more often don't like holding the camera up at my face - it sort of gets between me and the scene I'm trying to watch develop. Occasionally I'll mis frame a shot taken from the belly, but not very often anymore. In low light, of course, you have to open up the aperture and there isn't enough DOF for zone focus, so then I have to use the finder or the rear screen to make sure the AF is hitting the target and locking on...

-Ray
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
Started today on the upper west side, walking down through Riverside Park and then back into town along North Broadway, into mid-town briefly, and then down to Soho and the Village to run a couple of errands. I've gotten really comfortable with the subway system - you can really get from anywhere to anywhere in this town pretty quickly and pretty easily, usually no more than one transfer, if that. Soho is really a trip - I just scratched the surface of the place today- I'm gonna have to spend some time getting to know it in the coming days.

A few shots from Riverside Park before getting back to my usual street shots. Didn't feel terribly creative with the street shooting today, but there are always people around having moments and interactions and if I can just catch a few of them, it's a day reasonably well spent. So, maybe maybe just trying for competent today if not particularly inspired.

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-Ray
 

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