Recently I’ve been commuting into NYC a couple of days a week for work. Of course the commute sucks. Who likes to spend two hours door to door to get to work? No one. And that’s when the trains line up with my schedule. When they don’t I sometimes have to wait a long time for the next train. But that has given me a lot of time to shoot street photos while I’m in the city. I like to try and keep busy and be creative even when commuting.

Most of the time I’m taking pictures along Seventh Avenue as I walk between Penn Station and 14th Street. Sometimes I move over to Sixth Avenue to mix things up. I walk along slowly, see who catches my eye, and take their photo. It takes practice, discipline, and instinct. I use a super zoom lens because I don’t want to bother anyone plus I like to shoot candids. I like to record the moments in life that don’t get noticed or recorded. Fleeting instants that are here one minute and gone in the next.

I tend to take pictures mostly of women because that’s who I’m wired to notice but it’s not always the case. Plus we are all hard wired to like beauty and as a species we tend to find woman more beautiful than men in general. At a guess I would say that about two thirds of my photos are of women and one third of men. At least of the ones that contain only one or the other. I have a series of photos of couples but those are from when I shoot in Bryant Park and not on my walks. Couples tend to congregate more in parks than on the street. So if I see a couple sitting in the park together I may take their photo from afar.

Another series of photos I have is of groups of people on the street. It’s one of my favorite subjects. I’m on one side of the street waiting for the light to turn and I take photos of the people waiting on the other side. They’re standing around in different positions, in different outfits, and all are different shapes and sizes. It’s a natural. Sometimes I can even get a good photo as all those people walk across the street. It’s a little harder to capture but can be done with the right luck and timing. The variety of walking poses is even more diverse than the standing ones. Groups of people walking can make for a good photo the same way people walking in slow motion makes for a good scene in a movie. We can read so much into it.

One of the things that always catches my eye when taking street photos is shiny pants. I imagine the pants are made of some kind of plastic leather but maybe it’s actual leather. I’m not sure. It’s always women I see in these pants. Though I wouldn’t say these pants are common. I mention them because I just posted a photo on Instagram of a woman in shiny pants. They were cool pants.

I’m amazed at how common yoga pants are these days. They’re everywhere. Ten or twelve years ago when I started taking street photos I hardly ever saw yoga pants. I don’t remember seeing them at all. But now on any given walk down Seventh Avenue at 8:30 in the morning I can see 25 women in Yoga pants in a half an hour. Mind you there are lot of people on the streets of Manhattan but that’s still a lot of yoga pants. No men ever wear them. Skinny jeans are the tightest thing I’ve seen on men and even those are rare. Yoga pants might look good but they don’t photograph particularly well. They’re almost always dark and you have to pop the shadows in Photoshop. They may be eye-catching in person but that doesn’t always translate into a good photo.

I’ve spent years shooting in and around Bryant Park and the Midtown Public Library but my time spent waiting for a train has brought me to a new place to take photos. Greeley Square Park (which is a triangle). Of course I’ve been there before but I’ve mostly passed through it and have never spent a lot of time there. In recent years NYC has closed some blocks of Broadway to traffic and made them into parks. Broadway runs diagonally through Manhattan’s grid of streets and it turns out that’s a bad thing for keeping traffic flowing. So Broadway between 32nd and 33rd Streets (right next to Greeley Square Park) is closed and there are table and chairs set up on it.

One day after walking up to Penn Station I still had time to kill so I started walking east towards Greeley. I wasn’t planning on stopping there but then I saw an open chair and decided to give my feet a rest for a moment. It was a seat that looked out down a stretch of Broadway that was open to traffic. I sat, looked at the excellent view, and noticed a lot of people passing by. I pulled out my camera and took some pictures. A lot of pictures. Turns out that in sitting in that seat everybody came to me rather than me looking for them. It’s a busy part of the city. It’s an easy place to walk (the actual park is next to Broadway) plus there is a subway next to the park. Crossroads photography is a new thing to me.

I post some of my photos on Instagram these days. I take way more photos than I ever post because that’s the nature of photography. I also tend to post older photos. I’m conscious of the fact that my photo subjects are unaware of my taking their photos so I like to keep them anonymous. So I either post them years later when they probably no longer look like they once did, post photos of crowds, sometimes even draw masks on my photos, or post photos of people who’s faces are generally obscured. But the truth be told it’s really my own obscurity that keeps these photos anonymous. Being that only a couple of dozen people ever see them on Instagram the odds say that no one in my photos will ever know the photos exist. Such is life.