Thursday, August 25, 2011

NYC: Wall Street Architecture

When I was in New York earlier this month working on the Upper East Side Reno I spent an afternoon walking around the financial district on a sweltering hot Saturday afternoon.   Although I happened to have my DSLR with me it wasn't a pre-planned photoshoot destination but once there I was simply overwhelmed by the architecture that surrounded me.   I had never been to Wall Street before nor did I know much about this iconic eight blocks except for the image I had in my head from movies, television and the media in general.  I've been to the city many times but honestly I had never really had any interest in visiting Wall Street or given it much thought at all (what can I say, I live in the world of Design not not high finance!).  You can imagine how ecstatic I was to discover this haven of architectural beauties.  How did I not know about this!?

Its difficult for me to find the right words to describe my impression of Wall Street,,,because it was so unlike anything I had imagined it was or expected it to be.  The sheer towering scale of the buildings viewed from the very narrow streets is sensational, the neighborhood is strikingly charming and quaint in a way (?) with its centuries old architecture, cobblestone walkways, a Tiffany's,  and the historic Trinity Church holding court at the end of the street.  The street is a pedestrian only zone with no vehicular traffic and facades are void of signage or advertising only flags, all this completly evokes a feeling of being in a world of another time and is so unlike a typical urban streetscape.   Since I'm really not doing a good job here of describing what I saw, how about I just show you a few of the photos I took.....

What I love about the buildings here is that the colours are all so grey toned that even when you shoot and view the images in colour its very monochromatic looking.  All the images above are shown in colour except one!

I'm a complete amateur photographer but it is a passion of mine.  I love to shoot landscapes and streetscapes particlarly, I don't use photoshop or edit my photos in any way except to convert to black and white or crop images.  When I want high quality prints made for framing I send the image off to Elevator Digital and they take care of all the technical issues for me (resizing etc.).  Mostly, I like my images to remain true to the way I shoot them without any enhancing or special effects.  Sometimes I like to shoot slightly overexposed, sometimes underexposed depending on the mood I'm trying to capture.  What I love to do with my photos the most is have them printed and framed for wall art, sometime for myself, sometimes for clients.  When you frame an image it takes on an entirely new dynamic, I'll be getting several of these printed and framed and they'll be something like this...

Unless I'm doing one large oversize print, I try to group images into groups of 2, 3 or 4's combining both landscape and portrait orientation as I did above.  Once I've decided on which images I like grouped together, I'll decide if I want them printed in black and white or colour.....

....and then I figure out my final image sizes, matt sizes and decide on frame colour by doing mock-ups similar to these (very rough above!), often I do this on a scaled elevation of the wall and I'll normally include the frame too (not shown on the above).  For frames I always do a simple rectangular profile in white, black, silver or natural wood.  Lately I've been doing a lot of white framed coloured photography, which I LOVE.  Then once all this is figured out I send the original image files off to Kevin at the printing lab who takes care of printing, matting and framing for me.

If you ever visit NYC I highly recommend a visit to this neighborhood whether you're passionate about architecture or not, its simply an experience like no other.

All Photos:  Carol Reed


  1. Amateur. Wrong. Artist. Right.
    Love my city, landmarks and all.

  2. I'm loving exploring your city! Loving it. Camera or no camera. : )

  3. Well if you ever decide not to be a designer any longer, you could certainly take up professional photography, because it seems to me that you equally talented at that too!

    You have captured the very feel, the atmosphere of Wall Street, in these dramatic shots. You have also captured the sense that it is kind of frozen in time too, which is hard to explain in words.


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