on 11 November 2013
"Humans of New York" by Brandon Stanton is actually more art work then the book full of photographs, that I can from the heart recommend to all those who love New York and its people, that are both specific in relation to all others cities worldwide.
For those who haven't heard of Brandon Stanton, he became famous shortly afterward initiating project of photographing nearly every person in New York City.
After he walked up and down of Big Apple and photographed many of its people, he began to publish these pictures on his blog "Humans of New York", which has quickly become extremely popular.
From the start what made his photographs different is the fact that due to his sense to catch "special something", his photographs aren't just snapshots of women and men, but also the countless beautiful images of his beloved city.
A city where its people live their different destinies, and in his photos each of these small stories is visible in countless completely different situations while he photographed each person, making this entire photo collection an extremely valuable artistic work.
If you want to make sure that this book is for you, I advise you to visit his site; looking only few of his photographs you'll be able to feel spirit of New York and his residents that were caught by photographer either in a leisure or performing some work unaware that they were photographed, and each of these pictures will tell you a story...
Due to above-mentioned I can recommend you to look and read this beautiful book which will provide an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the city with the most energy in the world.
Whether it will be on your bookshelf or if you plan to will you give it to special someone, a photo enthusiast or New York lover, this is a beautiful art book and at least for me would be perfect gift both for its content and beautiful full color edition with quality binding.
Brandon Stanton's "Humans of New York" (2013) captures the joy, diversity, and promise of American and New York City life in a book of 400 glossy color photographs. Taken over a three-year period, the photographs show people of all ages, races, economic classes ,religions, and conditions of life. There are photographs of people alone, with their pets, with lovers, or with friends and family. Some of the subjects are homeless street people while others clearly live a life of opulence. People are shown at work and play, dreaming, talking fighting, extroverted and meditative. The photographs in the volume are all taken with the knowledge of the subjects and thus, to a greater or lesser degree, posed rather than candid.
The variety of New York City, with its busy downtown streets, residential areas, apartments, bridges, buildings, parks, and some surprisingly quiet places serve as the background. The focus of the book is on people - on their faces, clothes, hands, and jewelry. The city locations, however, constitute an integral part of each photo. A short caption accompanies most of the photographs. In many cases, the photos are accompanied by a short anecdote or story about the subject.
Many readers came to this book through an extensive blog of an even larger collection of photos that the author took and maintains. I did not know of the blog until I found the book. I was glad of the opportunity to enjoy and respond to the book fresh in seeing it for the first time rather than to come to it with expectations of its content from viewing the blog. I found effective the arrangement of the photos, the use of captions, and the relatively spare use of stories to accompany the pictures. The photographs speak for themselves.
Brandon Stanton the author, developed his talent for photography in an unusual and pressured way. He had been working in the financial markets of Chicago as a bond salesman and received a camera a gift. The gift allowed Stanton to begin taking pictures of buildings and places in Chicago as a hobby and then to branch gradually into photographing people.. When he lost his job, Stanton decided to make a career change. He began to move from city to city, including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, taking photos with his interest moving to photographing people. Stanton became fascinated with New York City and its opportunities, moved to the City, and began to photograph in earnest. He soon received widespread recognition on media which translated into this book. Thus, Stanton's photos of a city and its people reinventing themselves parallel s his own reinvention of himself and his path in life.
Many artists, poets, novelists, and photographers have been fascinated by the speed and diversity of America's greatest city. With all its predecessors, Stanton's book is poignant and alive. The book speaks of optimism, diversity, and hope for the city and its people.
Of the many allusions this book could suggest, the one that came to mind was "New York Tendaberry" a 1969 album by singer, composer, and pianist Laura Nyro (1947-- 1997). Nyro's album with its eleven songs is essentially an ode to New York City. In particular, in the title track, Nyro writes of New York:
"Sidewalk and pigeon
You look like a city,
But you feel like a religion to me."
Nyro's song concludes in a paean to the city:
"Where quakers and revolutionaries
Join for life, for precious years
Join for life through silver tears
New York tendaberry."
Stanton's photos have the intimate feel of Laura Nyro's song. The book and the song convey messages of hope about the ideals of American urban life and of the American experience.
Brandon Stanton dedicated this book to the City of New York, observing "I had this crazy, juvenile idea that you were going to make all my dreams come true, and you did."
This book cannot be reviewed, it must be experienced. However, I shall make every effort to convince you to obtain this book and have that experience, not only once but whenever you are tempted to doubt that there is any hope for the human race.
What we have in this one-of-a-kind volume is Stanton's selection of urban portraits in full color he took during tree years of roaming the five boroughs of New York City. Certain people or situations caught his eye. He recorded them with his camera and later added comments, his or others' or both.
After considering all manner of approaches to what Stanton shares, I have decided to proceed with a representative selection of comments. Here we go:
PHOTO: Older man with shoulder-length silver hair, wearing several silver crosses, half a robe, and sandals
CAPTION: "I'm a Catholic monk. I live a life of prayer."
"What about the cigarette you're smoking?"
"Somebody's got to make the clouds."
PHOTO: Frisky-looking young lady sitting on entry steps next to a jam box, wearing tam and red-frame sunglasses
CAPTION: When I walked by, she was really moving to the music -- hands up, head nodding, shoulders swinging. I really wanted to take her photo, so I walked up to the nearest adult and asked: "Does she belong to you?"
Suddenly the music stopped, and I heard: "I belong to myself."
PHOTO: A white-haired man, nattily dressed (Ivy League senior), holding a copy of Barron's, carrying a cane
CAPTION: "I'm ninety-nine years old. Everything from my neck down is s***. But everything from my neck up is just as good as everyone else's. How lucky is that?"
PHOTO: Old man with long white beard, wearing a parka and knit hat
CAPTION: "I'm homeless, and I'm an alcoholic. But I have a dream"
"I wanna go fishing."
PHOTO: Young girl with green hair and green eyebrows, wearing a fox tail around her neck
CAPTION: "I've been criticized for a lot more than my furs."
PHOTO: Side view of a young woman wearing sunglasses; atop her head are swirls and strands of black and white hair
CAPTION: "I'm going to let you take my photo because you seem like a genuine person. But just so you know -- I don't normally let people steal my swag."
The quality of the photography is superb but it is Stanton's obvious - and sincere - interest in those who agreed to be photographed that invests this volume with wit and especially a warmth of appreciation that are truly remarkable.
Each time I accompany him on a tour of the five boroughs, I am again reminded that those who live there are EVERYONE in terms of their humanity and yet - paradoxically - they share an extended community unlike any other. I urge everyone who reads this review to purchase a copy of Humans of New York. Also, to visit the website.
on 19 December 2013
Amazing stories, amazing people, amazing photos, amazing City, real people, talking about life, every page is an education. It will make someone a great present, plus its an awesome coffee table book....
on 15 May 2014
LOVE this book, ordered it as soon as I discovered the website. So many touching stories that constantly put your life in perspective, make you laugh, make you sad, or make you hopeful. Beautiful photography, DEFINITELY worth the price, I almost feel like it's TOO cheap for this quality of work.
An absolute must, the whole family enjoys flipping through it, a wonderful portrait of humanity.