Dispatches: Working A NYC Scene

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_NYC Sewer2__032014_3400

One of the things I think we all forget at times is to move our feet more. Zoom in, zoom out with our feet. Walk to the other side of a scene.

Views and perspectives change. You’ll see something you didn’t see before. For better or for worse.

On my recent trip into New York for the meetings, I was doing some “shooting from the hip” street photography. Certainly not spraying and straying. Just picking out scenes that interested to me, and shooting them. Just not being so obvious with bringing the 50D to my face.

When I was in Cape Town with Bruno Barbey, I noticed that’s how he did much of his street photography. If it’s good enough for a Magnum photographer, far be it from me to dismiss the technique (truth be told, I’d done it alot.)

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Shoe Shine Part 1_bw_3479

Walking up the Avenue Of The Americas, it was jammed with people. Business people. Tourist people. The hustle and bustle of NYC in full swing.

Crossing the street, I came upon the shoe shine stand. Now, this isn’t a guy with a little shine box. This is an operation, city approved, that can handle any of the lace-up and loafers, boots and brogues that the clients are wearing.

So my first shot was the one above. I like the general scene, except for the stray Burberry on the right side. Just decided to not crop her out of this exercise.

Walking the whole time, my second shot was this one:

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Shine_bw_032014_3481

A little tighter in close, more of an action-y shot. Kind of like the paradox of the expensively business suited man and the shoe shine man, in his knit cap and working clothes. I form a negative opinion of the businessman, unfortunately. A Master Of The Universe just stopping off to shine the Johnson & Murphy’s. A bit surprised he’s not totally checked out by reading the paper while he gets his shine.

But I digress. (Still, see the impression/emotion a single photo can perpetuate?)

Same shot here, though I crop in tighter. (c)JerseyStyle Photography_Shine2_bw_032014_3481

While I like the overall environment shot, I like this as well too. It makes the business man anonymous, so my negative reaction to him is tempered a bit. The focus is more on the gent giving the best shine he can. He takes pride in his work. That’s what I see, anyway.

By now, the current of the people pulled me past the scene. But I wasn’t done because as I turned around, I like what I saw going up Sixth Ave. Deep in the canyons, crowds of people, the shoe shine man goes about his work in the shadow of American Flags….

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Shoe Shine3_clr_032014_3482

With the sun behind me, this color version pops. But if I wanted to stay in theme…

(c)JerseyStyle Photography_Shoe Shine _bw_3482

I like all these images for different reasons. They tell me different stories, either real or imagined.

Just working a scene in NYC.

Which one do you prefer and why?

More to come from this day in New York…

(PS: Why is a NYC manhole cover made in India? Here’s why.)

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2014

4 thoughts on “Dispatches: Working A NYC Scene

  1. The Suit appears to be on his phone if I’m not mistaken. I like the first cropped shot. As you said, the contrast sticks out. All of them are good, of course. That one just ‘says’ more to me.

  2. I like the monochrome images the best. While the color pops, it distracts away from the proprietor and patron. It looks like the proprietor is working and speaking and the patron is listening. I suspect that the patron is a regular and not just an occasional visitor.

    My father had a shine stand in his shop repair shop for many years. It may be my knowledge of the trade from years gone by that color my perceptions of the seen. In the street you may have heard (or not heard) something that is not in the image.

    • You could be right, David: Maybe these two have a relationship based on seeing each other a lot. Like a barbershop does. I didn’t gather that but it’s possible. This stand is always there so, if he works in the area, he could stop by a lot. Thanks for the idea. ~ Mark

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