I Like A Leica #5: Times Square in Black and White (1)

For this week’s post in I Like A Leica, we take a trip to NYC’s Times Square.

Like most New Yorkers, I don’t enjoy going to Times Square, and I stay away from it when I can. However, if I happen to be in Midtown and have a camera on me, which I usually do, it’s pretty hard to avoid the temptation to at least cross through the so-called Crossroads of the World, and sometimes I come out unscathed and extremely pleased with the shots I’ve gotten.

Statues of Liberty in Times Square by Chad Gayle (Image)

Statues of Liberty in Times Square (Leica M6, Ilford HP5, Leica 50mm Summicron) FLICKR

Here, for example, is an image of two Statues of Liberties posing with a tourist. I was standing on a chair to get a better look at a scene further up the street when these two characters got my attention.

Desnudas Working in Times Square by Chad Gayle (Image)

Desnudas Working in Times Square (Leica M6, Ilford HP5, Leica 50mm Summicron) FLICKR

In many cases, waiting for random alignments of tourists and people working in Times Squares yields some pleasant results. Here, in “Desnudas Working in Times Square,” I caught two of those no-longer-infamous scions of the tourist-trapping enterprise, a pair of semi-nude painted ladies, or desnudas, negotiating their picture taking fee from a sad sap who looks like a cornered mouse.

Twinsies in Times Square by Chad Gayle (Image)

Twinsies in Times Square (Leica M6, Ilford HP5, Leica 50mm Summicron) FLICKR

I’ve never asked anyone to pose in Times Square and I do my best not to call attention to myself, but this happy accident, “Twinsies in Times Square,” provided an opportunity in composition that couldn’t be passed up. I was aiming my camera at someone across the sidewalk when these three young women stepped in front of me. Mistakenly thinking that my goal was to take their picture, two of them (the twins) looked at me and smiled at exactly the same time, perfectly offsetting the gawking girl who was standing between them.

Girls Night Out, 8th Avenue by Chad Gayle (Image)

Girls Night Out, 8th Avenue (Leica M6, Ilford HP5, Leica 50mm Summicron) FLICKR

A sample of what you can get away with when you push HP5 to 800 ISO and have a relatively fast lens, “Girls Night Out” tracks a trio of young women from New Jersey who have just arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and are making their way up Eight Avenue to Times Square.

Times Square Subway Station by Chad Gayle (Image)

Times Square Subway Station (Leica M6, Ilford HP5, Leica 50mm Summicron) FLICKR

Lastly, underneath Times Square is the sprawling 42nd Street subway station. This simple image of a train about to leave the staion is deliberately defocused for effect.

We’re taking a break this summer from posting; see you in September for more “I Like A Leica.”