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Skyscrapers or mountains – don't underestimate your environment for photography

When I was very young, I remember learning about vast mountain ranges that existed in what seemed like universes beyond New York City. I would regale myself with images of these towering feats of nature trying to imagine what it was like to come in contact with such powerful natural wonders.

A view of the New York City skyline looking south, taken from the top of Rockefeller Center  Sony SLT-A99V | ƒ/16 | 30 seconds | ISO 50
A view of the New York City Skyline looking south, taken from the top of Rockefeller Center
Sony SLT-A99V | ƒ/16 | 30 seconds | ISO 50

I would think to myself, ‘There is nothing like this here in the city, all we have are buildings.’ It wasn’t until my teens when I lived in New Mexico for a little over a year, and more specifically when I got to experience the majesty of Taos, that I was finally able to understand how infinitely small everything seems in comparison to the vastness of the world.
And yet while I was in school there in Albuquerque, other students would ask me daily to tell them what it was like to live among buildings that soared to the sky. It had never occurred to me before that time that the man-made feats of architecture that I viewed on a regular basis were for these students what the images of mountain ranges were to me before I had the experience of seeing them with my own eyes.
A view of the Empire State Building taken from the top of Rockefeller Center Sony SLT-A99V | ƒ/9 | 1/125 second | ISO 50
A view of the Empire State Building taken from the top of Rockefeller Center
Sony SLT-A99V | ƒ/9 | 1/125 second | ISO 50

When I moved back to New York City, I carried that new knowledge with me like a precious gift, tucking it away for safe-keeping. And it wasn’t until I discovered photography that I took that knowledge out from where I tucked it away for many years and started to view my own city with new eyes. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t recall the time when I realized that New York City is its own man-made land of enchantment.
Street photographers will never tire of New York as a subject. It is the perfect setting for the genre, with candid, insightful moments appearing everywhere. Vivienne Gucwa is out there, every day, capturing these fleeting glimpses of human drama, and here in NY Through the Lens she presents an elegant volume showcasing the stunning results of her ongoing quest. Lush images are front and center throughout the book, supported by insightful commentary, engaging anecdotes, tales from the road, and professional tips on how to reliably seek out and capture scenes of such perennial enjoyment.
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NY Through the Lens, Vivienne GucwaNY Through the Lens, by Vivienne Gucwa

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