Inspiration

Photo-journal: New York City Through The Eyes Of Ukrainian

Kyevan Andriy Prokopenko shot streets and people of New York City for 365 days

Andriy Prokopenko photo

31 years old Andriy Prokopenko, Web developer, moved to NYC two years ago from Kyiv. Photography is a hobby that consumes most of Andriy’s free time. Several photos for “365” were shot by Andriy in Ukraine during his trip home.

The idea of the project came to me after my relocation to NYC. The city became the inspiration. Originally I was planning on taking one shot a day – that was the main idea of the project. However I soon realized that I was interested in not just taking pictures, but also telling the story behind it. So I began to explore New York.

I started shooting the project “365” with Canon 450D camera using Canon 17-85mm F/4-5.6, Canon 50mm F/1.8, Lensbaby Edge 80 and Lensbaby Edge 35 lens. Later on I upgraded to Canon 6D camera with the interchangeable Canon 24-105mm F/4 lens. I shot the vast majority of project’s photographs using the technology above.


{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1_365.jpg”,
“text”: “I took this shot in NYC’s Chinatown during the theme week Fire Houses. I prefer when people enter the shot accidentally, yet fit perfectly within it.”,
“alt”: “I took this shot in NYC’s Chinatown during the theme week Fire Houses. I prefer when people enter the shot accidentally, yet fit perfectly within it.”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/2_365.jpg”,
“text”: “The shot that marked this revelation for me was the one I took in the residential part of Kiev where I lived for almost 20 years. It was fun to take a fresh look at it after a year of absence from Ukraine.”,
“alt”: “The shot that marked this revelation for me was the one I took in the residential part of Kiev where I lived for almost 20 years. It was fun to take a fresh look at it after a year of absence from Ukraine.”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/3_365.jpg”,
“text”: “I was in Kyiv the previous year, when the blizzard arosed. I was lucky enough to shoot people snowboarding and sledging through dumped on streets.”,
“alt”: “I was in Kyiv the previous year, when the blizzard arosed. I was lucky enough to shoot people snowboarding and sledging through dumped on streets.”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/4_365.jpg”,
“text”: “One day I was walking along and saw a familiar face, it was David Carp, the founder of Tumblr. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to come up and ask for his permission to be photographed. But he stopped at a crosswalk and turned towards me – I used that moment to take a photo. A few days later Yahoo bought out Tumblr for 1.1 billion dollars.”,
“alt”: “One day I was walking along and saw a familiar face, it was David Carp, the founder of Tumblr. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to come up and ask for his permission to be photographed. But he stopped at a crosswalk and turned towards me – I used that moment to take a photo. A few days later Yahoo bought out Tumblr for 1.1 billion dollars.”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/5_365.jpg”,
“text”: “59th St subway station in Brooklyn. I took a few shots to choose the best one, but later decided to make a double layout of them. I like to capture those moments of peeking into someone else’s life.”,
“alt”: “59th St subway station in Brooklyn. I took a few shots to choose the best one, but later decided to make a double layout of them. I like to capture those moments of peeking into someone else’s life.”
}

At first I was aiming at the architectural theme – buildings, doors, facades. I later realized that it would make the project quite plain. So I applied the “one subject per week” approach. I came up with the three themes – “Doors”, “Bicycles” and “Fire Departments”. I eventually understood that I was still limiting myself, sacrificing a theme in favor of a random lucky shot. As a result, I started shooting everything I could and ended up with a sort of a photo-journal.

If you take a look at the geography of my photographs, most of them (103 out of 365) are shot in West Village, where my office is located. I browsed the neighborhoods with my camera searching for a great shot. When it was warm outside I ventured into other parts of the city on a bicycle or a subway. On weekends I had the full freedom to travel even further to explore new places.

It was especially challenging to photograph people – because of the psychological barrier of approaching a complete stranger. After a year I was only able to ask permission from four men, one of whom is in the project. I tried to shoot people without them noticing. The big city noise hides the sound of the camera shutter quite well. It’s a rather convenient technique as people always look natural, never posed.


{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/6_365.jpg”,
“text”: “Once I decided to go to Madison Square to photo-hunt. It was about to rain and I forgot my umbrella. I ended up getting caught by the storm and got soaked, but I had my shot. I like rainy weather because of the abundance of objects – a couple hailing a cab, a man running with his umbrella and an antique automobile.”,
“alt”: “Once I decided to go to Madison Square to photo-hunt. It was about to rain and I forgot my umbrella. I ended up getting caught by the storm and got soaked, but I had my shot. I like rainy weather because of the abundance of objects – a couple hailing a cab, a man running with his umbrella and an antique automobile.”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/7_365.jpg”,
“text”: “It took me two years after my relocation to NYC to finally climb the Top of the Rock and catch an amazing sunset.”,
“alt”: “It took me two years after my relocation to NYC to finally climb the Top of the Rock and catch an amazing sunset.”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/9_365.jpg”,
“text”: “This shot was taken in San Francisco. A friend of mine showed me a hidden gem – a spot on the mountain that offers a great view of the city. There we ran into a couple with their dog, waiting for the sunset on a bench.”,
“alt”: “This shot was taken in San Francisco. A friend of mine showed me a hidden gem – a spot on the mountain that offers a great view of the city. There we ran into a couple with their dog, waiting for the sunset on a bench.”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/8_365.jpg”,
“text”: “Here’s a shot of another couple, taken at the botanical gardens of Brooklyn. When I saw them from the back I immediately realized that I had to photograph them. If it wasn’t for the fog, the photo would lose its’ charm.”,
“alt”: “Here’s a shot of another couple, taken at the botanical gardens of Brooklyn. When I saw them from the back I immediately realized that I had to photograph them. If it wasn’t for the fog, the photo would lose its’ charm.”
},
{
“img”: “/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/1_10_365_1.jpg”,
“text”: “This is the last shot of the project. I had this idea beforehand – to photograph something in the format of «things organised neatly». I started preparing the night before in order to finish the project by midnight. I took more than 30 shots, because I was imagining different things, trying to come up with the best combination, transferring everything into the computer, checking them out on the monitor – and so on, in circles.”,
“alt”: “This is the last shot of the project. I had this idea beforehand – to photograph something in the format of «things organised neatly». I started preparing the night before in order to finish the project by midnight. I took more than 30 shots, because I was imagining different things, trying to come up with the best combination, transferring everything into the computer, checking them out on the monitor – and so on, in circles.”
}

New and best

370

357

711
462

Read more