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The "Street Observations" Photo Blog featuring street photography and observations from photographer John Fraissinet. (Now in its 8th Year).


New Series - Street Shots

 You might have noticed I have not sent an update since January. That’s because I have not added any new sections to the website. This does not mean that I have not been taking pictures. In fact, I have probably taken more pictures than ever during that time. The major reason for that is that I was given a new high caliber camera in April for my birthday, an Canon EOS 40D. This is my dream camera and can rattle off pictures rapidly (I think of it as a machine gun). This really helps with capturing the precise moment of action. Also, the quality of pictures in low light is far better than I’m used to.

 So, as I commute to my job in downtown Manhattan, I’ve had ample opportunity to explore the camera and as a result I have taken thousands of shots in the last few months… many to just see how the camera works, and many more that were immediately deleted.

As a result of the frequency of shots, I have been posting shots almost daily up to my Flickr.com account. Posting to Flickr is a bit quicker to do compared to creating pages on the website. And it gives instant measurable exposure and social links with other photographers.

The Street Shots series is a highlight of the Flickr pictures taken over the past few months. Many of the people shots were with the new camera, but there were also many taken with the older Konica Minolta camera I was using. My goal is to capture the feeling and the people of the City. Sometimes it may be an object, or silhouette. Sometimes it is a group of people in conversation, or a pattern of people with an interesting composition. Sometimes I pick a spot and wait for the people to come, other times I am capturing my own experience, such as the commuter shots.

 Not on Fraissi.net, but of interest, are pictures I took of the Tickertape Parade that went up Broadway’s Canyon of Heroes following the football Giants Super Bowl victory in March. These are posted in a set on Flickr. I have very few shots of the parade itself, it was just too crowded. But there are some interesting crowd shots. The picture to the right was from the 39th floor of my office building taken at the beginning of the parade.





Tickertape Parade

A tickertape parade. I always wanted to experience one, but they are not as common as they once were. There are commemorative strips embedded in the sidewalk up Broadway that record each parade. They were rather regular in the '50s, any visiting dignitary seemed to have one. Lately though, it has only been for NY sports champions.

The victory by the Giants in the Super Bowl, quite a feat as they beat the undefeated Patriots, sparked the parade that I had sought. The crowds started assembling 5-6 hours before parade time. The streets were busy with excitement as the anticipation grew.

While, the focus was on the Giants as they went by in the parade trucks, there was a buzz and electricity on the blocks, called "The Canyon of Heroes". Waves of enthusiastic crowd noise circled up and down the avenue. People hung from balconies and looked out of windows, and the floors were littered.

I started taking pictures as people got ready, then as the parade approached I got a perspective from the 39th floor of an office building. Then descending in the midst of the crowd to see what was going on there. The atmosphere was electrifying.


New Series - Wall Street

There were all taken on Wall Street itself, or within the three block vicinity.

The Wall Street area is an eclectic mix of people, stores and buildings. There are stockbrokers, security police, tourists, TV crews and business people all intermixed in this small area.

Besides the NY Stock Exchange, there is Federal Hall, where George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the US. The steps of Federal Hall are an interesting place to sit and observe people passing by (and eat a sandwich). From this one vantage place, there are views of: tourists posing for each other in their pictures, police patrolling with machine guns, CNBC cameras being setup, and floor traders taking a smoke break while talking on their cell phones.

The major entry roads to Wall Street have security barriers built into the pavement that block traffic. They are raised and lowered like drawbridges to give vehicles access when needed. Otherwise, the core of Wall Street is a pedestrian mall. I made about 5 trips to Wall Street to get this assortment of photos.

Say, if you didn't take a look at the site last month, here are my selections for the best pictures from last year, Top 10 of 2007.

As you might notice, I've been doing more street photography, many of strangers who I find interesting. These work best in black and white.

As an example, I was walking down Nassau Street, and saw a lookalike couple sitting in the window at a coffee shop who I found interesting. This picture on Flickr shows them staring into space, seemingly bored with each other. I really like this one.


Best of 2007

It was a bit tricky to get down to only 10 pictures, and I actually left a few favorites out that will be featured in upcoming montages. Here's what made the cut. (You can click the photo's name to see the large version):

  1. Flooded Park - A storm brought a deluge that caused the river in the local park to swell and flood. This resulted in mist and trees growing up out of the water creating a surreal mood.
  2. Driving to Manhattan - As I drove from Queens into Manhattan, the sun was going down between two skyscrapers. I grabbed my camera and got the shot while I drove towards the EZ-pass lane.
  3. Pittsburgh Skyscraper - Light from the setting sun turned the Pittsburgh Avila building orange.
  4. Striped Girl - Vertical blinds creating a striped effect on Caroline's face.
  5. Statue Pigeon - A pigeon rests at the base of a statue at the Wall Street location where George Washington was sworn in as first president.
  6. Jersey Garage - Glass brick highlights a parking garage slated for demolition on a rainy day.
  7. Conference Room - A law firm conference room overlooking New York Harbor is set up with many manila folders.
  8. 9/11 Ceremony - A ceremonial international police force attends the 2007 New York City 9/11 remembrance at the World Trade Center site.
  9. Brooklyn Bridge - The lamps of the Brooklyn Bridge create an interesting balance in composition.
  10. Pittsburgh Bridge - The arches of a historical Pittsburgh hotel frame the Roberto Clemente bridge in an evening time exposure.


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