How To Get a Date Worth Keeping
Computer Battery

Image by Ed Yourdon
No kidding: that’s what the title of her book says. And she was reading it very intently, perched on a stone bench on the western edge of Verdi Square, just outside the entrance to the 72nd Street subway station…

Note: this photo was published in an Aug 18, 2010 blog titled "Grab Bag! How to Judge a Person by Their Book Cover." It was also published in an undated (mid-Aug 2011) blog titled "How do you a work out DATE with a Girl at the Gym? tip and pointer?" And it was published in an Aug 17, 2011 OnsMatch blog, with the same caption and detailed notes that I had written on this Flickr page.

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This is the continuation of a photo-project that I began in the summer of 2008: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan — between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

As I indicated when I started this project in 2008, I don’t like to intrude on people’s privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they’re still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what’s right in front of me.

I’ve also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting — literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting. So I’ve learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture … after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it’s pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject.

Thus far, I’ve generally avoided photographing bums, drunks, crazies, and homeless people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don’t want to be photographed, and I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of them. I’m still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We’ll see how it goes …

The only other thing I’ve noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, far more people who are not so interesting. They’re probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I’ve photographed … but there was just nothing memorable about them.

9-11 commemoration practice
Computer Battery

Image by Ed Yourdon
During the two or three days prior to 9-11, New Yorkers are often startled by the thunderous noise of low-flying fighter jets streaking up the edge of Manhattan; and today was such a day…

It usually takes us a minute or two to realize that it’s not an attack, but just a practice run for some kind of commemoration ceremony on the actual day of September 11th; and then it takes another minute or two to locate the planes in the sky.

In this case, I was on the east side of Broadway, between 78th and 79th Street; and the tall apartment building across from me was the Apthorp. I took half a dozen pictures, as fast as I could, but most of them turned out to be too blurry to use. There were actually six planes in the formation, but this picture shows only three of them…

Note: this photo was published in a Jul 2009 "digerat" blog titled "apthorp nyc videos and images."

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This is part of an evolving photo-project, which will probably continue throughout the summer of 2008, and perhaps beyond: a random collection of "interesting" people in a broad stretch of the Upper West Side of Manhattan — between 72nd Street and 104th Street, especially along Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue.

I don’t like to intrude on people’s privacy, so I normally use a telephoto lens in order to photograph them while they’re still 50-100 feet away from me; but that means I have to continue focusing my attention on the people and activities half a block away, rather than on what’s right in front of me.

I’ve also learned that, in many cases, the opportunities for an interesting picture are very fleeting — literally a matter of a couple of seconds, before the person(s) in question move on, turn away, or stop doing whatever was interesting. So I’ve learned to keep the camera switched on (which contradicts my traditional urge to conserve battery power), and not worry so much about zooming in for a perfectly-framed picture … after all, once the digital image is uploaded to my computer, it’s pretty trivial to crop out the parts unrelated to the main subject.

For the most part, I’ve deliberately avoided photographing bums, drunks, drunks, and crazy people. There are a few of them around, and they would certainly create some dramatic pictures; but they generally don’t want to be photographed, and I don’t want to feel like I’m taking advantage of them. I’m still looking for opportunities to take some "sympathetic" pictures of such people, which might inspire others to reach out and help them. We’ll see how it goes …

The only other thing I’ve noticed, thus far, is that while there are lots of interesting people to photograph, there are far, far, far more people who are not so interesting. They’re probably fine people, and they might even be more interesting than the ones I’ve photographed … but there was just nothing memorable about them.


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