Street Photography: Avenue of the Americas

I was a half block away when I saw her starting to cross the street. So I timed the pace of my stride to try to get close enough for a photograph.

I also liked the expressionistic reflections on the street projected by the glass corporate towers that line the Avenue of the Americas in midtown.

When I got close enough I made sure not to make eye contact but, rather, to look “through” her and onto the reflections – as if it was she that was entering the frame of my shot.

She looked at me as I lifted my camera and pressed the shutter. Did she think she was getting in the way of my photograph? Was she aware that she was the subject of the image I was creating? Or did she just lift her eyes in my direction as a reflex because she noticed my lens? I have no idea.

But I really like the look. The youthful 80s hairstyle, the big sunglasses, and the bright red lipstick and nail polish as she grips her to-go coffee bathed in the warm morning sunlight.

There are characteristics that trigger references for me. All the reflections and shadows in the background make the image look cinematic to me. It’s as if it’s a still from a movie and she is a Hollywood actress on an expansive New York stage. Also, I find that her lipstick and sunglasses make the photograph look like it was taken in the 1970s. Does it conjure up anything different for you?

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Published by Xiomáro

Nationally exhibited artist, photographer, speaker, teacher, and curator. Author of "Weir Farm National Historic Site" (Arcadia Publishing).

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