Despite being exhausted from our 6 hour trip, once I stepped inside Grand Central Station from the Harlem 125, I immediately felt the energy of NYC surging through my body. I went from, “As soon as I get to the hotel, I’m crashing.” to, “I’m staying up all night and definitely walking to Times Square to chill for a bit.” … it was 11:45PM and I wouldn’t rest my head on the pillow until 4:37AM.

Harlem 125 Train in New York City. Photographed by DeShawn Scott

Double room at the Grand Hyatt in New York City

This was my second trip to NYC in as many years and just like the first trip, all my senses were stimulated once I hit the street: the aromas flowing from the food carts; the sight of hundreds of people on the move in every direction; the frequent sound of horns blowing from the cars of irritated or impatient drivers; and my feet hitting the pavement in a rhythm consistent with everyone near me. What a feeling!

Since my stay in NYC was short-term, I created a strategy that would prevent me from having any regrets on the flight back to Ohio. First, I decided to sleep only 3-4 hours a day (hey, it’s NYC). Actually this wasn’t a drastic decision because back home, I usually run on 5 hours of sleep with a power-nap during the afternoon. The extra time awake would allow for more hanging out with the crew and later, hitting the streets with my camera. Second, was hanging out in Times Square during the “off” hours and the final part of my plan was to be a lot more aggressive with my street photography than I was on my first trip – this meant not second guessing shots I desired to create.

I only like hanging out in Times Square from 2AM to 5AM. Going during the normal hours is cool but once you do it and witness the crowds and various activities, it kinda like… “ehhh”, mission accomplished. On the other hand, during my preferred time, you just never know what to expect… it’s unpredictable. Last year, my cousin and I witnesses a newlywed couple taking selfies and two minutes later, on the other side of the street, we watched a fight break out that lasted five minutes. So much happens during this time, as the photographs below show.

Street Photography in Times Square. Photographed by DeShawn Scott

It’s no secret that NYC is the mecca for street photography and opportunities abound no matter the time. For me, I started my “street-work” early to capture the morning flow of people starting their day. Sometimes, I’d stay in one strategic spot patiently watching and waiting for the perfect shot… other times, I’d move with the crowd and quickly take my shot. For a different style of image (more contrasty), I used my camera app to chart the suns pattern during the afternoon and head to those locations with direct and sorta harsher sunlight. Below is an example.

Street Photography in New York City, by DeShawn Scott.

Overall my strategy worked. Admittedly, I was exhausted but I had a chance to kick-it with my fam and get a huge amount of street photography accomplished – the images came out great! I plan to revisit NYC sometime in the summer since my last two visits were in the winter. I’ll definitely get some business done by scheduling time to meet two of my print vendors based there (it’s all about building relationships). Until then, I just finished my street photography book from the 2014 visit so by June of 2016, the second volume (2015 images) should be completed. I’m starting that now. As always, thanks for reading.

Street Photography in NYC. Photographed by Northeast Ohio photographer, DeShawn Scott

New York City police office. Photographed by Northeast Ohio photographer, DeShawn Scott

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