Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Other Side of the Island

The Charm of New York's Neighborhoods

Skyscrapers. High-rise apartment buildings. Landmarks, lights, and sights - New York has it all. Tourists flock to Times Square and Rockefeller Center, stroll along Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, and aim their cameras at the Chrysler Building and the World Trade Center. The grandeur can be intoxicating. The experience, unforgettable.

New Yorkers and frequent visitors enjoy the famous sights just as much as the tourists do. But there's a more intimate side of the city - neighborhoods that retain the charm and character of decades past. 

I love to photograph New York. A big part of that adventure is discovering the city's hidden secrets, lesser known places that still catch the eye and captivate the imagination.

a photo of classic new york architecture
City In Motion - Classic New York Architecture

The photo above shows a style of architecture that I have come to appreciate while meandering through the busy streets of Manhattan. These four or five-story building typically feature shops on the street level, apartments above, and intricate iron fire escapes.

The fa├žades can be quite colorful. I love how direct sunlight - which hits this row of buildings for at most only a few minutes per day - brings out the colors, textures, and details.

My first attempt at this shot didn't work out well. I realized afterward that I had forgotten to put a memory card into the camera. The images vanished as soon as I turned the camera off.

I returned a week later, wedged my tripod between a couple of parked cars (one of which was waiting to pull out!), focused, finalized my exposure settings carefully, and clicked six or seven shots as cars passed by in various patterns. I like this one the best because of the even distribution of the passing cars across the frame.

Unfortunately, these lovely buildings are disappearing. Each year, many of them are torn down to make way for large and more modern structures. I look forward to photographing more neighborhoods like this one - before they all disappear.

Camera: Nikon D800E
Lens:     PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5

Wishing you great light and meaningful moments!

Copyright 2013 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved