New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gotta Shoot Village Cigars


There are many iconic photographic images of New York City. Typically I leave them alone - iconic for me translates as it's already been done and done well, you probably won't do it better or in a more interesting way. So, rather than look like a wannabe or copycat, I look elsewhere.

However, there are many, many subjects in this city that, given the right time and conditions, will lure anyone with a camera. Photos like that of Village Cigars in a snowstorm by Igor Maloratsky. A mysterious Hess Family triangular mosaic is set in the sidewalk in front of Village Cigars - see my story and photo here.

Village Cigars at 110 7th Avenue South at the corner of Christopher Street occupies a unique, tiny, one-story triangular building. This neighborhood landmark has been located there since 1922. It has been seen in film and there have been numerous images taken over the course of its history, in a variety of seasons, available in both color and black and white, as stock photos for advertising, art prints, greeting cards and photos sold on the streets to tourists.

Try as one might to exorcise those legendary photos from ones mind, similar conditions often acts as a trigger. Caught in a snowstorm while walking down Christopher Street with a camera in hand? Gotta shoot Village Cigars :)

16 comments:

Leslie said...

Instead of a static portrait, to me your picture conveys all the energy of that frenetic blizzard...very exciting!
This corner, and the way it calls to mind the entire lovely West Village, feels like home to me. I never tire of these portraits, rather they warm my heart.

Mary P. said...

Great image. A new take on an old familiar.

Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

You got me curious, Brian, so I googled Igor Maloratsky's image. I've got to tell you, yours is far more interesting. I love the intimacy of it as well as the night lighting and the dynamic motion of the snow and the people. It almost feels like a Reginald Marsh painting. Beautifully done!

Russell Claxton said...

One of your best, Brian. It's unforgettable.

Sally Darling said...

Brian, I agree with Russell, ONE OF YOUR BEST SHOTS!

Brian Dubé said...

Wow - just crazy. I really hated working on this photo. The composition may or may not be good, but the photo quality, white balance etc. was poor do to low-light and weather conditions and was a nightmare to work with in Photoshop. Always a surprise as to what people will love!

Paul said...

Nice work Brian, I know very little about NYC having never been to the US, but photos like this tell a story. This is especially true with some back story.

Anonymous said...

Great shot!!!!!!!

Kim said...

Hey Brian,
This is so great! It actually looks like a painting instead of a photo. It's such a great image

Christopher said...

Love it, I lived just a few block from here in the early 90's, brought back a lot of memories of the old neighborhood, I like that the Christopher St street sign is visible, as well as the subway entrances ....Good shot, and i know what you mean about being surprised at the photos people like that seem like they are not great to you as the photographer

Sally Darling said...

You are WAY too hard on yourself. A perfectionist. This photo is INCREDIBLE!

Lynette said...

Great photo, great post. Glad you took the photo and shared it with us! Having a City Daily Photo blog makes for some great moments. Happy New Year!

If you've got a moment, please visit my special New Year's Eve post at Portland Oregon Daily Photo.

Russell Claxton said...

Brian, Reading your comment made me go back and try to analyze what makes the image so compelling.

The snow falling animates it, without this it wouldn't be half what it is. The blurry figures hustling by add to the sense of motion, too. The warm red of the building and the orange 'wait' signal, contrasts with cold and neutral colors: cool blues around the subway signage, white snow and sky which frame the store, almost-black tones above the snow. All this, coupled with the somehow perfectly placed street and one-way signs, diffusing our mental focus, all take their place in the composition. It's spectacular!

Geir Steinar said...

this is a really great photography - thanks for sharing!

Cigars said...

Hi...Your post really got me thinking man..... an intelligent piece, I must say.

Mary P. said...

The balance and placement add something too. This is the best shot of this oft-photo'd spot I have seen.