The Big Apple


If all has gone according to plan, I am currently walking the streets of the Big Apple – here to celebrate my husband’s 60th birthday.

New York City – frenetic, fast-paced, exciting, visually overwhelming. No one visits NYC to slow down.

But that is my hope for this trip – at least photographically. To take my time. To avoid the trap of constantly planning the next photograph, instead of the one that is right in front of me. To stand still and contemplate, letting the constant motion that is the essence of this city flow around and inspire me.

On my visit here in 2012, I rushed around, trying to “see it all”. Not so surprisingly, I failed in that endeavor. Instead of going deep, I skimmed the surface, flitting here and there –  always in a state of “go, go, go.”

And while I came home with images that delighted me, like the one above, this time I want to approach my visit from a different perspective. One without expectations.

This time I hope to find the unique yet hidden identity that is the essence of this city. Patricia Turner, contemplative photographer, describes how we do this: “… with stillness and deep listening…heightened perception and the long, slow and considered regard of what is in front of us.” ( A Photographic Sage)

New York City and slowing down. We’ll see how that works out.




Posted on October 29, 2013, in Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Wonderful words Brenda! I’m so happy you’re on an adventure…enjoy every moment. I think it takes planning to stop, to sit, to listen…while traveling. Wise words.

    Can’t wait to see what you bring home!

  2. Oh, I’m excited for you, Brenda! You are so right about getting manic when we arrive in a new place and have limited time to explore and photograph. Slowing down and going deep is so much better — hope you can do it! Don’t forget to put down the camera sometimes and just take it all in. Enjoy, enjoy!

  3. How exciting, have a great time. Love your words – I know exactly what you mean…I am always much happier with my images when I go in without expectation and it’s always much more fun to do it that way though really tricky to get to that mindset. Look forward to seeing what you come back with. 🙂

  4. Oooo, lucky you!
    My very favorite city.
    A very Happy Birthday to your husband.
    Have a wonderful time!!

  5. I hope that will work for you. I’m sure you’d gather amazing images. I’m sure you will gather amazing images no matter what.
    I know that “go, go, go”. It’s hard not to do that when you’re in a new environ. I’ve had that trouble in Boston the few times I’ve been. I’m overdue for another trip-perhaps I can keep “slow, slow, slow” in mind rather than “go, go, go”.
    Looking forward to seeing what you get.

  6. hope you’re having a wonderful time! Looking forward to seeing those slowed down NYC photos. Enjoy the birthday celebrations.

  7. You have posed a challenge for yourself. I’m curious as to how you split your time between being present to your husband, and taking photographs. I’m not very good at doing that.
    I wrote my comment on your next photo before I looked at this one. It seems NYC demands tilted photos. Works well here. Love the stairs.

    • Anita – actually, I don’t do well with that myself. I have certainly come to realize that photography is a solitary endeavor for me, if I want to do my best work. My priority for this trip was our celebration – any photos that resulted were a bonus. And I’m okay with that. And yes, NYC certainly demands tilted photos – I walked around for four days with a neck ache from looking up 🙂

  8. “the hurrier I go, the behinder I get…”

    That’s my story these days. We were on vacation in late October and every weekend since then has been filled with events and obligations. As a result, I’ve been viewing and/or commenting on the occasional post, but definitely not in post order. So, in retrospect, it seems to me you achieved your goal. (And why am I not surprised? ;-))

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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