Street Photography: Times Square

I first saw Anthony last year. He was wandering about in Times Square holding a sign and hollering about some dispute he was having with his landlord. I was running late to catch my train at Penn Station. And, as he was turning to walk in the opposite direction, I did not have time to follow him to get a photograph. Afterwards, I experienced “punctuality remorse.” I should have remained to photograph him and just taken a later train.

So it was my good fortune to see him again on 7th Avenue, one block before entering Times Square. He was wearing the same outfit. But this time, his sign displayed a creative take on the president’s favorite slogan. Anthony also had a megaphone to help amplify his grievances.

There was no need for me to be stealthy. He clearly wanted to be noticed. So I went right up to Anthony and took a few shots to which he replied “Thank you!” As I walked away, I could hear his megaphoned voice alerting passersby that he liked my suit and that I have good taste in clothes.

As I weaved through the crowd to catch my train, I could still hear Anthony and his megaphone chortling away and singing meanderingly.

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Published by Xiomáro

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

4 thoughts on “Street Photography: Times Square

  1. Hey, Xio— have been enjoying your posts on street photography. Wish I could take the street photography workshop, but I will likely be working that weekend. I was just wondering why you chose B&W for this image, since I’m assuming the rainbows were part of his message, but they are lost in this monochrome version. Thanks, Darcey O’Donoghue

    1. Hi Darcey! Thanks for checking out my posts. Sorry that the workshop is taking place during the Columbus Day weekend, which is not convenient for many people. Unfortunately it was the only weekend that was open on my calendar. But I hope to offer the workshop again during a more convenient time if there is interest.

      Your question about my choice of black and white is a good one. I had considered going with color because of the rainbows and his tall hat, which is purple. But the bus behind him is red and it made for an overly busy image. The colors competed for the viewer’s attention. For me, the photograph was not so much about the colors of the rainbow as it was about Anthony himself and his message.

      Having said that, I’m also a bit of a contrarian at times. For me, it would have been too obvious to default to color. Why not go black and white and provoke some inquiry? I find it challenging to try to get something colorful to work in black and white that might intrigue the viewer to see the subject in a new way. An example of this is from my post of last June featuring a black and white photograph of a flower:

      But who knows? The file image is like a piece of sheet music and the post processing of that file is like a musical performance, which can differ from concert to concert. So maybe one day I will revisit Anthony and present him in color!

  2. To the left of his hat, I see the words “newyorksightsee”.
    Yes indeed, Anthony is a New York sight to be seen.

    By the way, Interesting explanation of why you chose B&W over color. (In the comments section)

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