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Street photography: Central Park, March 2012

The first images in our New York street photography series. Words and photographs by Brendon Stuart

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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
This is a frame I took at the end of the day on my way out of the park. The scene looked picturesque, it seemed like a great end to a great experience.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
These are initials, hearts and names etched into a tree near the Central Park Boathouse.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
In the early morning after St. Patrick's Day, runners gathered near the starting line of the New York City Half Marathon.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
A dogwalker was out with a group of well-dressed canines near the model boat house on the east side.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
People gathered in different places along the sidelines at the start of the New York City Half-Marathon, waiting for the race to begin.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
Near Heckscher Playground, a teen practiced flips off of Umpire Rock.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
Longboarders were out skating around midday, in the Central Park Mall in front of the Naumburg Bandshell. This particular skater, Wil Bouillon, was stealing the show.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
Everyone is a photographer these days. I loved her enthusiasm and his lack of it.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
This photo was taken above a field of people sunbathing on one of the few lawns that wasn't fenced off. Quentin, in the foreground, was pretty excited to bask in the sun and grass.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
The Alice in Wonderland statue located near the model boat house on the east side.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
The Ramble is one of the more remote and wooded areas of the park. In this shot, I really wanted to convey a feeling of not being in the city while still being in the middle of the city.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart

This is one of the many tunnels and throughways in the park that I love. This particular moment reminded me of a rising sun emerging into a new day. Incidentally in that same moment, someone was tangled in their dog leash.

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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
A couple walks along a path through the Ramble.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
People lounged and relaxed along the water near the Point. There was no thin ice around, so danger levels were severely reduced.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart

The Hearnshead is a small peninsula of rocks that juts out into the northwestern area of the Lake. When I visited, one teen was fixing his fishing pole near a girl who was crocheting while listening to music.

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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
This couple nuzzled on their longboard surrounded by rowing, fountains and festivities on a Sunday afternoon. Bethesda Fountain is visible in the distance.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
Along the west side of the park, a man watched his baby, walked his dog and talked on the phone at the same time.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
This is a brick archway near Belvedere Castle.
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Brendon Stuart 2012, Photograph: Brendon Stuart
This is one of the numerous statues alongside the main walkway of Central Park Mall.

What’s beautiful about shooting film on the street is that you shoot with your gut—especially with 35mm. You don’t know the results instantly. You don’t have the preview screen that comes with digital cameras, so you can’t check and see if you got the shot you were looking for. That part of shooting digitally can be useful as you learn photography, but it’s ultimately a distraction from the process. Without the screen, you are forced to rely on yourself and your intuition. This is the place I enjoy—and prefer—shooting from. I shoot digitally as well, but these days I’ve trained myself not to look at the screen.

When I moved to New York around ten years ago, one of my first jobs was as a busboy at the Central Park Boathouse. The best part of working there was the walk to work through the park each day. It was such a great thing to be able to experience trees in abundance. Because of that job, I became familiar with many areas of the park. I don’t get to go as often these days, but whenever the opportunity comes around, there’s always a degree of nostalgia that comes back. When setting out to shoot this assignment, I wanted to convey a few different moods and feelings. Love, life, activity, fertility, awakening and a relationship to nature were all in mind as I photographed.

Comments

5 comments
Christine
Christine

Love this! Are you taking submissions for future editions? I would love to submit!

Magnus
Magnus

Amazing! Life and love in and for NYC.

Sharon Swanson
Sharon Swanson

Gorgeous, gets you in the mood for some Spring Weather!!