Dodge & Burn: Re-Picturing New York

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Dodge & Burn is a series of photo essays documenting local culture with a focus on artful imagery, movement, and light.
New York City: it’s the inspiration for many art projects, songs, photographs, paintings, and theories. A teeming energy, dynamic collection of environments, and mass of people all drive the large engine of the city.  Currently, the High Museum of Art is exhibiting Picturing New York, which features almost a century of photographs produced in New York City. It is an amazing exhibition that highlights the masters of photography from Steichen and Steiglitz to Arbus and Winogrand. The main focus of the exhibition is the street photograph. This type of photography has seen a derisive downturn over recent years with the rise of digital photographic techniques, specifically Instagram. Instead of being heralded as an exemplary form of modern photography, showcasing the “decisive moment” in all its glory, street photography has become the bastion of hipsters with iPhones and Twitter. Street photography, however, still has plenty of merits, as displayed in the High’s exhibition; and as a photographer, there is nothing quite like capturing a candid shot on the street.

I was able to travel to New York City a few weeks ago and attacked the street with my trusty digital camera. I was more interested in capturing views of the street and light. I kept to my 50mm 1.8 lens on my Nikon D7000 to keep a “straight” view of the world. Being bothered with zoom lenses seems counter to the type of street photography that interests me. All in all, I would encourage photographers to attempt street photography for the technical and compositional challenges it can provide.

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