Steamed

Somewhere on 5th Avenue.

Somewhere on 5th Avenue.

 

Walking the streets of New York last December I noticed a column of steam appearing and disappearing a few blocks ahead. As I got closer I saw the source was a make-shift steam pipe that was venting the white vapor from under the street, and with the help of a breeze, onto the sidewalk.

The steam was not fully cooperative for the purpose of street photography, but I crouched down on the dirty street corner and waited for the right combination of pedestrians and white smoke. Even in New York, where there are cameras everywhere, people are often concerned when they see a stranger taking their picture. But in this case the subjects walking through the steam fully recognized the photographic value of the moment and seemed delighted to take part.

 
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When the wind shifted I had to settle for a shot that framed my subjects from above rather than enveloping them.

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dean pagani