New York City revealed in a new light​

Like Paris, where I live, New York is one of the most photographed cities in the world. Creating an original photo series, without this originality depending solely on the infrared rendering of which I am the specialist, was therefore a major challenge. That I tried to take in 15 days of photo reportage in New York. Story.

INFRA NYC: back to the world-city

I had to wait three years before being able to return to New York, after my stay for a few days in June 2019 for professional reasons. No other obligation this time than to take pictures while walking the streets of New York. Although still having in mind the plan of this immense city, a phase of « digital planning » was first necessary, in order to build a daily program.

This essential organization phase having been led before my departure, I only had to choose the daily program of my choice according to the weather… And exhaustion! Because even with a dense metro network, walking remains the best ally of urban exploration. And with nearly 190km covered in two weeks, my legs were brave!

The choice of optimal photo equipment

The most important choice I had to make before flying to New York was that of the equipment. Inevitably, with a city like NYC, you don’t want to miss any subject, and it’s tempting to bring as much material as possible. Here, on the contrary, I wanted to go straight to the point by taking only three lenses: a 20mm shift, a 35mm and a 100mm paired with my Canon R5C.

This restricted choice has been relevant in practice: already by limiting the weight of my bag and therefore saving my energy. Then by directing my eyes towards framing that I master, to make a choice quickly and get straight to the point. Finally, by allowing me to cover the majority of subjects of interest in New York: architecture, street photography, urban details and panoramas. Photography is a sum of choices to be made quickly so as not to miss the moment. The faster the material choice is made, the longer you can take to build your images behind the viewfinder.

My camera bag therefore consisted of:

  • Canon R5C converted full-spectrum + RF-EF drop-in adapter
  • Laowa 20mm F/4 Shift
  • Canon EF 35mm F/2 IS USM
  • Canon EF 100mm F/2 USM
  • Kolari Vision 720nm drop-in filter
  • Kolari Vision 550nm drop-in filter

New York in infrared: beyond the city, nature

About the INFRA NYC series itself, the main objective was to offer points of view as varied as they are original, by including as much as possible nature in the frame. Even though Central Park ranks at the top of the city’s iconic places, nature in New York is not limited to its 340 hectares planted in the middle of Manhattan.

So I had to take a step back to go beyond easy compositions, and do real research around natural locations. And thus justify the use of the infrared technique, which beyond the simple pictorial aspect marks the vegetation to raise it to the same level as the skyscrapers in my images.

However, I sometimes enjoyed just focusing on urban areas or human activity rather than on nature, to accentuate the contrast of scale and remind how New York retains its power of attraction intact.

To go further

If you want to use some of the pictures in this article for illustration or commercial purposes, contact me directly by presenting your needs and the desired types of use. I will get back to you as soon as possible with a suitable commercial offer.

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