Jesse Jarnow

times square, 2/06

I’m in the minority of my friends in that I think that Times Square is actually quite nifty. It’s nicer empty, of course, late at night. When I started taking cell photos, Times Square was at the back of my mind. After discovering how cool bright light looks crammed into 1.3 megapixels, I figured Times Square would be a cinch.

I made my first stab last week, and I was utterly, entirely wrong. Making light distort requires that the lens be reallllly close to the source. Shots of buildings tend to look massively insubstantial on a cell cam. The scale of Times Square is gigantic, and its beauty is as much about its residual glow than the specifics of any one display. The light is in waves, visible only when they crash into each other or lap at the sides of buildings or windows. Photographing Times Square, I think, is like painting pictures of the ocean.

The first batch I took was uniformly bad, save one shot (the last below). The second batch was slightly better (I think) though still doesn’t capture it entirely. More next time I have an excuse to go to Times Square…