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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.
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on 15 January 2014
New York City is many special things to different people. For some it's museums, for others the New York Public Library. For some it's performances at Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater or any number of Broadway plays and musicals. For others it is the world-famous landmarks: Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building or thousands of other places, too many to mention here.

But New York City is really about one other thing: people.

Photographer Brandon Stanton has captured this in Humans of New York, his debut book... and it has skyrocketed on the various book charts since its U.S. publication in October 2013, and for good reason. Based on his HONY blog, which now has over two million followers and fans, this book is a visual delight of about 400 photos of the people that he has encountered in his travels across the five boroughs that make up New York City. His people images make a gorgeous, sometimes funny, truly genuine, and often moving compilation of photos that capture the spirit of the city through its diverse people in often inspiring ways.

Brandon Stanton did not start his career with the goal of becoming a photographer, as he explains in the introduction of this book. He noted that while working as a bond trader in Chicago, he spent his weekends with a camera that he had acquired in 2010, and that photography "felt like a treasure hunt." After losing his job as a trader, he traveled to various American cities, but his first impressions of NYC were unforgettable, as he notes in the intro:

"I remember the moment my bus emerged from the Lincoln Tunnel and I saw the city for the first time. The sidewalks were covered with people. The buildings were impressive, but what struck me most were the people. There were tons of them. And they all seemed to be in a hurry. That night, I created a photo album for my New York photos. I called it 'People of New York.'"

From that simple beginning, the rest became photographic history; from his early attempts at a Web page, he discovered social media in the form of Facebook and Tumbler. Fans of his images reacted, and soon became regular followers. At first it was hundreds, then thousands, and zooming forwards to today, his Facebook page has over two million loyal followers, and hundreds commenting on his images daily, with many of those sharing his people photos to their own pages. Each of these is a capsule of a moment in time.

On these pages we see everyday people as encountered by many of us on the New York streets; subway images, people in Central Park, in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, by the Strand Book Store in Downtown Manhattan, at the Brooklyn Museum and at Manhattan's iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art. We see a young well-dressed girl in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel, a well-dressed older woman at the Waldorf-Astoria, people carrying boxes of pizza as gifts for the firefighters (the owner refused payment), people at Union Square on 14th Street, and a Marine recruiter in uniform on the street in Downtown Manhattan. Some are camera shy, while others are striking a pose.

And there are some that stand out, strikingly so. We see the full-page view of the model in her black and white striped evening gown at Lincoln Center, the chess players at Washington Square Park, people with their pets, the Sikh gentleman whose gentle smile is hidden behind his iconic mustache and beard, and the two page image of two ballet students captured in a lunchtime pose, standing in front of a steam grate in Tribeca. It is this same image that has served as the iconic avatar on HONY's Facebook page.

There are people at play, at work, sleeping on benches in parks, dancing, eating, kissing, hugging, and frolicking in the water gushing from fire hydrants. We find people of all ethnic backgrounds, and of all ages, from teenagers to folks in their nineties, to children. There are many superb images of children here, and they must captivate Stanton, as it is said that he will be publishing a children's book, "Little Humans" in 2014.

There are captions, though they are limited and to the point. Maybe because Stanton is upbeat and not condescending, so his captions never stereotype, even when he photographs people that close-minded individuals might think of as "sketchy" or strange. His book radiates his own natural curiosity, along with diversity, appreciation and respect for the people that he photographs. For open-minded people watchers, this book is a treasure.

It's difficult to classify this as a traditional coffee table photo book, if just by size alone. My copy is 304-page hardcover first edition printed in the U.S. and published by St. Martin's Press on October 15th, 2013. It measures 9.2 x 7.3 x 1 inches, which is hardly a coffee table book like another favorite, The New York Times Magazine Photographs, by Kathleen Ryan. That Aperture edition measures 12.2 x 10.5 x 1.8 inches, a good bit larger.

On a personal basis, I rank Brandon Stanton's book right up there with Robert Frank's The Americans, a powerful book in post-WWII American photography. First published in 1959, his black and white photos were remarkable for their distanced view of both high and low strata of American society of the time. In contrast to Stanton's book, there is an element of sadness, even despair, in some of the images, but there is joy as well.

To many, New Yorkers are standoffish, cold and impersonal. For those of us who have spent time on the streets here, this is generally not so, and as a relative newcomer to the city, Brandon Stanton has proven that to be a myth. I am reminded of this quote that was written down when it was passed on by a friend:

"My favorite thing about New York is the people, because I think they're misunderstood. I don't think people realize how kind New York people are."
~ Bill Murray, Moviefone interview, April 27th, 2010

What makes Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York so different is that it is not about high-profile celebrities. It features people who aren't normally documented, who one might find anywhere on the New York streets if one just looks. It's a book that I have already gifted to some special friends, ones who also enjoy real people in everyday settings. It's not just a personal favorite, but one that may well go down in books of NYC street photography as a landmark chronicle of this era. Time will tell.

JW ▪ 1/15/2014
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 December 2013
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.

Robin Friedman
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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"
What's that?
"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.
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on 23 December 2014
Lovely collection of vibrant photographs. It's enjoyable to dip in and out of the book to see the images in random order. I just wish that each photograph had come with it's own unique story, only some of the images have stories and others just a quick "Seen in..." comment which is a shame as I bought it for the enriching stories of the people in the photos. This does not ruin the book at all but it was a bit of a disappointment for me - otherwise it makes for a good "coffee table" book of a different size.
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on 9 September 2014
Because I follow the web page I was a little disappointed at the lack of stories in the book. They are the inspiration and reason why people follow the page. Nevertheless it was a fabulous book of photography and I cherish it deeply.
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on 10 September 2015
I follow this account on Instagram and love it. The thing I love most though, is that there's the person's story underneath the photo. The problem with this book is that it's just photos. Only some of them have a few words written underneath and it was a little disappointing in that respect. I know there's another one coming out called Humans of New York Stories and that may be more what I'm looking for. If, like me, the stories are what makes it for you then I'd avoid this one.
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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....
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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.
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on 20 June 2014
What a lovely book. I'm originally from New York and am now terribly homesick after paging through it. There's such an exuberance not only to the city's denizens but to the way the photographer presents them. He seems to really like people, which is a nice thing in a photographer (and not necessarily required for the job - cf Helmut Newton, for a random example).
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