four photos of people in NYC

A day on the streets of New York

Each day as a street photographer brings its own rhythm and cycle. Each day is a lifetime in microcosm: the youthful morning is full of promise and excitement, the bright light of midday brings a workman-like tone (perhaps diligently trying different shots of one theme or location), and then, as the day fades and the light grows dim, late efforts to “get one more good shot.” Finally, the day ends in darkness with a long bike ride to the terminal. (Of course, the next morning, Lazarus-like, I get to do it all over again, weather permitting.)

Here are a sequence of shots from a sunny Monday in late Fall – Nov. 30, 2015, to be precise.

couple in grand central station

The day starts with great promise, as I run across this striking Belarussian couple as soon as I arrive in Grand Central. The images are not so sharp, as you can see here, but they work just fine on Instagram.

woman in yellow coat

It’s a bright sunny day, and I bike down to Soho/Nolita area. I snap this gal in floppy hat, yellow coat, and big matching purse. She kept moving, so this detail is all I get.

high brick wall

In the strong sunlight, I set up shop by the brick wall surrounding Old St. Patrick’s. It looks interesting and I frame up some different angles.

high school kid

Some good-natured high school kids come by, “Hey take our picture. …Sure, I’ll follow you on Insta. Will you follow me back?” LOL

girl by brick wall

This girl poses agreeably, but the resulting photo doesn’t do anything for me. I want to get some better ones.

man in black standing by brick wall

This guy’s all-black outfit and stern demeanor make a worthwhile photograph. So I’m pleased. The mature “work phase” of the day is underway.

girl by brick wall

This girl is great. Her color-coordinated outfit looks very pleasing against the brick wall, and she has a few minutes to pose. Instead of bright sunlight, I have her pose at the edge of the shade; it comes out the way I’d hoped. Later that evening, I’ll post one of these to Instagram, to a nice reception.

girl by brick wall

When a willing subject will work with me, I try to take both vertical and horizontal.


After a year on the streets of Soho, I have made friends with several other people who hang out in the same neighborhoods. Today I run into Hash Halper, aka Newyorkromatics, a street artist whom I hadn’t seen for a few months. But recently, he’s back, chalking “PEACE” on sidewalks and buildings.

New York Romantic

We exchange greetings; Hash explains his new message; and he moves on.

blue buttons on a skirt

Detail shots. Street style photographers have to publish some detail shots. The big round shiny black buttons decorating this skirt make my day.

Bowery Saving Bank

Every day, I try to capture some architecture as well. . I don’t usually post them, but I like to keep my eye open.

woman in front of mural

Attitude is everything. This very pretty girl, with distinctive close-cropped hair that looks great on her, agrees to pose for me. But I sense some discomfort or impatience on her part. Perhaps because the door to her apartment was right there. In any case, the photos reveal some disquiet, and I won’t use them on Instagram.


I’m ready (almost) to catch this guy zipping by on his bike. I get down low, and wave him on, encouraging him to pedal right by me. He does, but the shot unfortunately cuts off the top of his head.

fashionable young girl

A beautiful stylish teenage girl and her friends. Nice colorful coat! Another bubbly and good-natured group. 🙂

girl on Spring Street

The light is waning now. I have one eye on my watch and the other on the sky. For the next two months, the days will be short. This girl works in a shop on Spring Street. It turns out she also was photographed by Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York). We talk about that for a while, and I get some nice images of her.

evening traffic in new york city

I bicycle back up to midtown, dropping off my Citibike at 2nd Avenue and walking through the busy traffic to Grand Cemtral. Some cityscapes, but no street style. Another day is done.

Every day on the streets is different, but they all have the same cycle of feelings: early anticipation, a lengthy interval of productivity, and increasing wistfulness as I know the day is drawing to a close.