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Humza Deas
Photograph: Chris Shonting

Photographer Humza Deas shares his top 5 NYC spots

Get to know Humza Deas, the 18-year-old photographer behind some of the most breathtaking shots of NYC

By Matthew Love
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It’s easy to forget that the most accomplished guy at the intersection of urban exploration and photography is still a teenager. With more than 168,000 Instagram followers and a growing portfolio of dizzying images, Bushwick’s Deas, 18, spends his nights clambering up bridges and spelunking in railroad tunnels in pursuit of a picture no one has taken before. These images, often long exposures featuring elegant streams of headlights or taillights, make New York feel by turns massive and minuscule, romantic and steely. Take the heart-stopping shot of his sneaker-clad feet dangling miles above a glowing Times Square. “Photographers other people I idolize see one of my pictures and say, ‘No way I’d do that for a photo,’” says Deas. Of course, it’s all perfectly illegal. He confirms that he has yet to be arrested—“Don’t jinx it!”—and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. “There’s always something happening, and everyone has some entertaining story to tell.”

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Humza's top 5 places in NYC

1. Spitzer’s Corner

Bars Gastropubs Lower East Side

Spitzer’s Corner has this really good steak—it’s my go-to food. It’s steak, dude! It has this really good sauce you can dip it in, and it cuts the steak up for you, so there’s no bones, so it’s not like you have to do all the work. And there’s this really pretty waitress…

2. The Williamsburg Waterfront

Things to do Williamsburg

On the Williamsburg Waterfront—I don’t know the name of this specific part, but it has these really awesome rainbow rocks. It’s really amazing at sunset. You can see the entire Manhattan skyline. It’s not on the scenic tour, so it's not a clichéd photo spot.

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Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Long Island City Piers

I also love to photograph Long Island City Piers. You get to see amazing skyline: The Empire State Building and the Crysler Building in one shot. It’s great at twilight hour, right when the sun goes down and they start turning on all the building lights.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Steven Pisano

4. Lower East Side Skatepark

Lower East Side Skatepark was built by Nike skateboarding and renovated a couple of years ago. It has everything a skater could want. They have this skateboarding obstacle called the Pyramid, where you can fly up in the air and jump over the flat part. And they have this part attached to it called the rainbow rail, and you grind over it like a rainbow.

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5. Exchange Place

Exchange Place. It’s on the Jersey side, in Jersey City, but you’re looking downtown at Manhattan. At night, it’s not too popular, and every time I go there, I end up getting a new image. It’s just an awesome view.

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