i love ny


“Behind every beautiful thing,
There’s been some kind of pain.”

The more pain, the more images are filled with loving sentiments.  The poorer the community, the more churches.  And the lower the person is on the economic scales of the big city, the happier they are to be the center of attention for a few minutes.  Nobody here is going to tell me that this mural is private property.  Unless you are unlucky enough to point your camera at drug runners and lookouts, you will generally find the same sort of welcome you’d find if you wandered into a Mexican village.

It was close enough to lunchtime for me to buy two burritos from her (they are in the big pot that she pushes around in the shopping wagon) with some white rice and leaned against a rusted car enjoying the meal and exchanging smiles with her.


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

3 thoughts on “i love ny”

  1. I think this is better than the color version (110th Street Mural). In the color version, the vendor is overwhelmed by the vivid colors of the mural. In this version, she stands out as a soft human form against the sharp angular background, which is exactly the point of the photo – simple humanity standing out in the midst of urban chaos. A Beckerman classic.

  2. A wonderful picture! I can’t imagne anyone buying it, but when the MOMA gives Beckerman his posthumous one-man show it should be prominently displayed as a great example of his insightful NYC art.
    I hope they include the caption.

  3. Bill – I hope I can make it to the posthumous show at the MOMA.

    I have to admit that it is frustrating to go through this color phase every few years only to find that my b&w renditions are still better. I can explain it logically but it still irks me.

    In this latest detour I ended up using the tonemapping capabilities of hdr to improve the tonal range of b&w. Very useful, but I thought I was going to end up with powerful color photographs. I should know better. Still, the tonemapping tool was useful with the “snow on snow” difficulties of the Snow Woman.

    Guess, I’ll always return to a simple walking around camera and some sort of b&w media. I suppose worse things can happen to a photographer.


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