Light Effects – Photography in New York City

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A few years ago, I was at Times Square in New York City in a cold winter night and took a few experimental photos of anonymous crowd silhouettes against the city lights. I liked the unexpected result.

Then, just last month, I was back in New York for a Social Media conference and returned to Times Square to take new photos. The technique I used was to shoot from a low-perspective with a compact camera and using the resulting blur to produce a dream or painting-like result. I do not use flash and do not look through the viewfinder (I am roughly pointing the camera to people from waist-level as I walk past them), so the shots are quasi-random.

After these photos, I had dinner at Tout Va Bien on 51st St (Margaret’s recommendation). Service is wonderfully bad as it should be if you don’t speak French. But if you persist, you end up loving the place. If you ever go there, order the Coq au Vin and tell the owner you know Marcio from California and that I told you he would give you an extra carafe of house wine. You are guaranteed to get two free carafes.

These first two shots are similar to the original ones I took several years ago. This is the effect that inspired me to explore the technique.

The next two are my favorites of this batch. Both are blurred female bodies against the night lights and produced the painting-like effect I was looking for, making them almost abstract.

The last two in this series are more literal. I like the hand-in-pocket pattern in the photo on the left.

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