Assignment #1: Eating in Wall Street - July 11th, 2005

You are to illustrate a four-page article in a travel magazine titled "Eating in Wall Street". This article is geared toward all sorts of travelers who will be coming to this area. So, please capture the mood, variety, and flavor of what it's like to eat here.

All of the images must be shot within the geographic boundaries of the Wall Street area outlined on the accompanying map. Submit up to 8 images from this assignment by 8:45am, Tuesday July 12, 2005. A town car is waiting for you on the 50th Street side of the building to take you to the Wall Street area. You may stop at your hotel first, if you wish.

 
 

Bullish for a reason

Ever seen this bull in Wall Street? It usually has 10-20 people surrounding it waiting to take the next snap! Quite annoyingly if you want to spend a good 5 minutes doing a shot with food in its mouth. I waited an hour for the crowd to thin out just a little and start doing karate blocks, apologizies and have my camera, tripod all setup. Stuffing a sandwich in its mouth and holding it, I snapped at least 10 shots or so ensuring at least some of the shots do not have tourists in them.

The following is a composite. It's made from 5 different images to combine a good sky, a good separation of the food and removal of my hands holding the sandwich, etc.

 
 

 
 

Rhythm of the Market

This image is all about lines and shooting from the hip to get the perspective that you see. I wanted to emphasize the brown bags and hence cloned the same brown bag that the man is carrying into the woman's hand.

 
 
 
 

The market waits for no man

Again more brown bags showing that even the stylish individuals carry brown bags, for quick, simplistic meals between their sessions in Wall Street. The panning action shows how fast-paced the environment is. I chose this bank with ATMs as my backdrop as it displays the perfect drop for the financial district.

 
 
 
 

Hole into Wall Street

While walking along with Kyle next to me, I saw a Hispanic gentleman drinking a red gatorate. Not seeing anything colorful in Wall Street for a while, anything red or yellow stands out tremendously in the colorless sterile environment. I stopped him and asked him if I could take a picture of him. He looked startled and stated that he doesn't speak English. "I'll pay you $20 if you let me take a shot of you," I proclaimed. He then (according to Kyle) thought I wanted to first take a picture of him and then charge him $20 for it. *sigh* Language barriers... I gave up.

Then the clouds lifted when I saw this huge square structure across the street and a black gentleman wearing a red vest with his friend (who turned out to be his son). I then walked to them and asked, "Do you speak English?" Asking two black men in America that question was a dumb thing to do, they started laughing at me. Come to think about it, it was a pretty stupid question to ask. However, after communicating with the Hispanic guy earlier, it seemed appropriate. I then explained my situation and the big burly one in red agreed whole heartedly. The results is what you see below.

 
 
 
 

Lunch Varietal

Saw a homeless guy (wearing blue) agonizing and sleeping in the park. I gave him the sandwiches that I just bought across the street and took pictures of him. He was so glad with the sandwiches that he started posing for me.

 
 
 
 

Indecisiveness

This lady is actually eating with a friend. I cloned her out because her expression is just great, showing what a person going out for lunch alone usually do, thinking of what to eat versus what's going on at work. She even ignored the really sweet smelling bread placed in front of her for quite a while now.

 
 
 
 

Stark Contrast

Even at Wall Street, there are areas that are slums. Even at those areas, there'll be one or two reputable fine dining restaurants that stands out. This is one of them.

 
 
 
 

Beyond the brown bags

I stopped at Waterstone Grill and talked to the owner. I explained my purpose and he prepared a colorful salad for me to shoot. Even a nice Chardonnay alongside. I was happy I brought along the Wall Street Journal that I got from the hotel this morning along for this trip to be used as a prop. I had to use my external flash to counter some dark spots and tried as I might, it was very difficult to light this shot since the sun was quite bright at that time.

 
 
 
  Copyright 2005 Michael Soo, Soo Photography. All rights reserved.