I’ve given myself a fun little project of photographing NYC through the reflections on the glass windows of stores and the exteriors of cars and any other reflective material like a shiny marble wall (i.e., Grand Central Station.)
The perspective is a double exposure look but with the subject seemingly floating among the activities and people of the city. I used a 50mm 1.4 lens. Only a small part of the subject is in sharp focus and the rest of the image is enveloped in a dream like blur.
The effect is quite interesting and it is a great way to capture a moment in time as reflected by that one window or windshield. It is also a great way to get some candid shots of people just being people.
Once you spot a reflection you start to see them everywhere and you become very creative and patient as you spot a great window full of “stuff” refelcting the street behind you. You pick out your subject in the window and focus. Then standing there with camera poised wait for the right moment when a man, woman, child, a bright yellow taxi or colorful oversized tourist bus or all of the aforementioned pass by and magically become a reflection and the composition is complete and click, you’ve got your image. The creative satisfactions is intoxicating and you walk on searching for more and more.
I’m sure I’m not the first to try this bit of street photography but, I think it is an entertaining way to spend the day with your beloved camera. Meandering around a city with your imagination in high gear making a very different pictorial travel log of where you’ve been. It certainly won’t be your everyday boring tourists shots although they might include shots of tourists immortalized in reflections.
One of my favorite shots is of a Buddha which seems to be floating in the middle of 23rd street and one of a purple cello with a passing taxi zooming by right above it.
The next time you are in NYC, or London, or Berlin or any busy city anywhere in the world, try this abstract way of capturing the fun and excitement of city life. Stay in focus and enjoy!! www.photobycate.com