New York, the city of changing faces


New York, the city of changing faces

New York, the city of changing faces

I love New York.
Why? Because New York is a city that is never boring. It always manages to surprise, to excite, to arouse emotion.
It is fast-moving, full of life, multi-ethnic, chaotic. It is the city of great opportunities. It is the city that changes faces and completely transforms itself.
Yes, because, if in the morning the Big Apple has a grunge style and an underground mood, in the evening she totally changes her look: she dresses in amazing sparkling lights that make the atmosphere romantic and bewitching.

New York is an exciting city that offers loads of inspiration for lovers of photography. But, although it may not seem to be so, taking good photographs in this great metropolis isn’t actually that easy. Being one of the most photographed places on earth, there is always the risk of ending up seeming banal, coming up with images that have already been captured over and over.
Many times, I have found myself standing before captivating panoramas made up of a multitude of skyscrapers. I’ve tried photographing them, but they turn out inexpressive in photos. They didn’t make me feel anything.
How can you personalise a panorama already seen before in thousands of photos?
I look around me, searching for a subject nearby that can give the photo a touch of originality, that can give it a soul. I love bright colours and chromatic contrast, that I create by placing side by side two or more totally different colours. All I need is some brightly coloured clothing or even just an extravagant hat.
All you need is to find that something that, when placed alongside the landscape, adds that extra value.
Then I move the subject off-centre, trying to get it in the far right or left of the frame.

Freedom Tower

But I’m not always in luck. The ideal subject isn’t always ready to be captured on film. So you simply have to wait patiently, and here the ‘carpe diem‘ factor comes into play. In order to take a good photo, you often need a touch of audacity – that pushes you to click the shutter at the right moment – mixed with a touch of good fortune – which is essential in order to be in the right place.

However, sometimes the ideal subject to give life to your photo never arrives. And so you have to create one, by “positioning” a human figure where you want it – a friend, partner or even yourself, in the case of self timed shots – and pretending that it is a passerby. This is what I do when I want to capture a work of graffiti or street art that, on its own, would end up flat, monotonous.

New York is the perfect city for those, like me, who love to photograph murals and graffiti. From Soho to Brooklyn, ending up in the Bronx. There are lots of them in every area of the city.


When I’m in New York, I always devote at least one afternoon to Central Park, the great green lung of the city. An oasis of calm, far away from the traffic.

I love eating hot dogs in the park – yes, it makes me feel really American – and walking until I lose my sense of direction and then sitting in the shade of a large tree. What’s more, Central Park can reveal itself to be a fantastic photo shoot set.

In the spring, the park is bursting with beautiful flowers that I always go mad for. I usually try to get the flower, or part of it, in focus, whilst leaving the rest of the image out of focus. I really like putting natural elements side by side with fragments of daily life.

Central Park

And now the moment has arrived in which to talk about sunsets.

Who doesn’t like sunsets? New York offers some amazing ones and it would be a real shame to miss them.

A must-be place for capturing the sun going down whilst the skyscrapers are tinged with orange? I could say the Top of The Rock or the Empire State Building – from which you enjoy amazing views – but my favourite place to watch the sunset is somewhere else, and you don’t have to buy a ticket. I’m talking about the Brooklyn Bridge. Not only does it provide a complete view of the skyline, but it also allows you to devote a few shots to the Manhattan Bridge, behind which rises the Empire State Building.

Manhattan Bridge

Remember that the Brooklyn Bridge is an incredibly popular tourist spot and so it is impossible to stop the flow of people just to take a picture. To be honest, if you aren’t careful, you even risk getting hit by cyclists dashing from Brooklyn to Manhattan!

My advice is to try to transform the undesirable (in this case, the people on the bridge) into a desired subject. You can get some images that are full of life, certainly more realistic than an empty Brooklyn Bridge – something that is hardly ever witnessed.

Brooklyn Bridge

New York is also the city where extravagance reigns supreme: it is full to bursting with people who use the streets of Manhattan as a showcase. And it is full of street artists. And they are the other “victims” of my photos. It’s not always easy to capture them with a noteworthy image, seeing as they are generally subjects that are constantly moving. In this case, too, you need to arm yourself with patience. And good observation skills.

When I feel that something is about to happen, I can anticipate the action.

Times Square

The images that arouse the most feeling come from the mind and from human sensitivity. That which to me may appear insignificant, to another person may arouse strong emotions, giving rise to a beautiful photograph.
It’s always right to listen to advice and learn new things, but all this should be mixed up and reworked according to your own personal tastes and interests.

Follow your heart and you will be successful in communicating your world to others.
It’s what I try to do.


My name is Manuela and I describe myself as inquisitive, enthusiastic and lively.
I’m not interested in perfection, but in happiness.
When I think about the fact that, outside of these four walls, there is a world to discover, I get so excited. Just the thought that the world is waiting for me sends me into raptures, joyful out of all proportion. And so, since I started travelling, I have never stopped, but I’m always happy to come back home to my homeland in Puglia.
My blog was born of an urgent desire to write, to give voice to the thoughts and emotions that accompany my experiences.
I love photography because it allows me to capture and keep forever moments and emotions.

You can find me here:
Blog: Pensieri in Viaggio
Facebook: Pensieri in Viaggio
Twitter: Manuela_Vitulli
Instagram: manuelavitulli
Google+: Manuela Vitulli

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