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Article Dedication

in honor of

Weegee & Berenice Abbott

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Infrared Flash Photo (Candid)

The one gal in the middle doesn’t seem to like it. GD, she can toss her hair in my face any day of the week!

You never know what or who you will see in NYC. Earlier that day I was walking on 5th Avenue and ran across Bruce Gilden.

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Bruce Gilden 2016 Infrared Photo

I had my infrared camera in-hand, so made due with a quick, unframed grab shot as I walked by…I’m not much of a kibitzer.

A little bit later I had my circular fisheye on to shoot at St. Patricks, so Bruce might just as easily been shot with it…

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Holy Water Bowl St. Patrick’s Cathedral NYC  (Candid)

I had spent a few days in Manhattan shooting for 7 book projects.  Actually I stayed at a campsite in Jersey City and took the transport.

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It was $65 a day to sleep in your vehicle or $55 a day to sleep in a tent. (You supply the tent.) I thought about taking the bus, but the hotel killed the deal. The bus was only $28 for a one way Greyhound from Pittsburgh to NYC, but the hotel was $2750. I asked if I could sleep in my vehicle at the Ferry parking lot in NJ, but they said no. If they would have allowed it, it would have cost about $19 a day.

Only bad thing about tent life is you have to carry all your gear on your back for fear of theft. I prefer staying in vehicles as you can hide some of your gear under the car seats and trunk. I boondock all over to save $…Wal-Marts, casinos, motel parking lots, rest stops, truck stops, so a Ferry parking lot is no big deal to me.

When on the road boondocking I can wash up in any bathroom I find or hit the showers at the truck stops every few days for $10 to $13 a pop. A good boondocking trick is to make a 25% dilute alcohol / water mix and use it to wash your body with a washcloth. Then wring out the cloth and use a water soaked cloth to go over your body. If you want privacy for a sponge bath, go into stall and stand or squat on top of the toilet.

My main work in Manhattan was for my artist’s book The Americans…60 years after Frank.   It is expensive to travel nowadays. Even if you sleep in a tent it is easy to spend $800+ for a week shooting in NYC. Since I am all self-funded and not rich I try to spread the financial risk around and work on multi-projects if I can, hence why I was working on 7 book projects.

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Infrared Flash Photo (Candid)

From what I can see, NYC is the yawning capitol of world. Every time a mouth opened up I shot them!

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Infrared Flash Photo (Candid)

The trouble with yawners in NYC is many times it is so congested with people you can’t get close.

I prefer to shoot right up in people’s faces…

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10 minutes after midnight – Infrared Flash Photo (Candid)

Oh well, up close or far away, you just press the button and sort it out at home. It is good practice and as an ADD it keeps me going with something to do. Still, I have to be somewhat judicious shooting or I can easily end up with 10,000 photos every few days. (I am highly skilled at candid photography. If I wanted to I can shoot almost anyone that walks by me…but why?)

Next year when I get a chance to go through the few thousand photos I shot I will write the camera fondlers a post called. “If you say you can’t do street photography in NYC…you’re FUCKED…go shoot sunsets or burning steel wool!”

I’m sorry, but there is just no nice way to put it. I’m not going to lie to you to coddle you. It is just sickening the amount of street / people photo ops that are presented every minute to the street photog in NYC.

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Sad Buskers Times Square 2016 – Infrared Flash Photo (Candid)

I felt bad for these girls. The one girl was crying – no one wanted to pay them to take a photo with their boobies out. NYC is a tough place if your broke. If I lived in NYC I’d be homeless.  Note:(a)

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Times Square Food Cart 2016 – Infrared Flash Photo

At least in my old home town L.A. you wont freeze to death living in a tent…

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In the shadow of City Hall 2015

One of the many homeless tent encampments in L.A. Shot through my windshield while driving…unframed.

Now, if you camera fondlers can’t grow some balls to do candid work, hit the subway or the Staten Island Ferry. The subway and Ferry are the easiest places to grow your balls. Put the camera in your lap, hit the self timer- then look away so you wont piss your pants.

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NYC Subway

You wont dare chimp as you don’t want to blow your cover, so you wont know what you got till you get home and it will be a surprise. Then you could be just like the camera fondlers that wanted to spend $20,000 for the Leica with no screen so they could be surprised and not distracted.

These Leica fondlers thought the screen was the root of all their problems.  They felt the ‘screen’ was the only reason why they shot shitty photos. So, to them it seemed like a bargain to pay almost triple the cost of a regular Leica with the screen, to get a Leica with no screen….what goddamn bozos!

Anyway, if your practice, pretty soon your balls will grow from the size of freezer burnt green peas to the size of kidney beans if you get your ass in gear.

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This gal knew something was up. She could not pinpoint it but kept giving me the evil eye. (If my camera was silent she would not have known a thing.)

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Well evil eye or not, I just moved closer to her and rested the camera on the rail. I was just a few inches from her face. After 6 or 7 shots she put her hand up in front of her face.

Anyway I was just screwing around. As I said, I got ADD so I have to be pressing the button one way or another. Hey, wait a minute, her pix inspired me to make a book called Humans of New York…No BULLSHIT!

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NYC Subway (Candid)

Even though I may use this bullshit shot of the lady, the Humans of New York…No BULLSHIT book would be all candid shots, no posed bullshit.

Hey, wait another minute, that idea sparked another book idea…Hijabs of New York!

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Staten Island Ferry (Candid)

Staten Island Ferry? If I lived in NY I could make another book on the Ferry!

Now, I’m only in NYC for a few hours shooting as I don’t live there. Still, I manage to get a few decent keepers. What is your excuse NY’ers that only have to go out of your front door to bring home fantastic shots?? Could it be you are spending too much time getting hard-ons by fingering your cams??

Fondlers, why not try to get hard over bringing home great photos instead of fanaticizing over the next cam your going to buy?  Instead of camera fondling, try hitting the pavement and pressing the button more. Fondlers, there is tremendous satisfaction if you can settle on your gear, be happy and satisfied and just produce iconic photography instead of constant gear dissatisfaction. The problem is not with your gear, fondlers…the problem is with YOU!

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Well, the possibilities are endless when you shooting in NYC…as long as your out there. It also helps to have numerous projects to shoot for. You can see how book and project ideas develop…they feed off each other. As Winogrand once said…The more I do…the more I do.

…this post is a good example of the ADD mind. It starts out with a hair toss and ends up with hijabs!

Notes:

(a) I don’t interview the people I shoot and almost never talk to them. As such, any description I give to my photos is pure speculation. I interpret the situation the best I can, but I may be wrong. Surface appearance in not always reliable.

De Wallen Graffiti 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.