Inspired by Christopher Thomas’ mystical photo essay “New York sleeps,” a colleague and I set off for the Big Apple in September to shoot two films, knowing that we would find the city’s buzz, but also hoping to find the city’s quieter side. Not that our schedule gave any hint of this: ten days packed with meetings, interviews, conferences, instagramming for clients and two film projects. In short, a New Yorker’s life in caricature.
Our initial idea was to uncover a different New York – capturing the city’s elusive moments of calm in the style of the popular German photographer. Thomas used a custom-made large-format field camera. Our medium was video. The 80 black-and-white photographs in his 2012 book depict familiar cityscapes, but with a twist. This urban landscape is ghostly and dreamlike: Grand Central Station devoid of commuters, the Brooklyn Bridge a deserted monument, Fifth Avenue sans flâneurs. Not a single photo conveying the hectic way of life we call New York.