Originally from Florida, Alex has been living here in the City for three years, working as a digital marketing strategist during the day, then capturing the City in his freetime and posting to his site, as well as the aforementioned Instagram. If you like his work, Alex offers HD prints for sale over on his website.
Alex was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his photography.
How did you start with photography?
I got into photography when I was 16. My dad had been a casual photographer and got me initially interested in the art as a hobby, then bought me my first DSLR for my birthday which really allowed me to pursue it. Later, when I traveled to NYC in High School, I became fascinated with all the subject matter here and knew I had to come back. Now I’m living in Manhattan and loving all the unique opportunities. There are scenes and a quality of light in this city that just don't exist anywhere else.
What’s your favorite part of NYC to capture?
I really love capturing the chaos that happens daily here. There’s so much that goes on so quickly in this city and I find it fascinating to try and find order in that. One of the ways I do this is by distorting time.
By doing times-lapses or long exposure images you can get some really interesting compositions that showcase how crazy and beautiful the city is all at the same time. There’s almost always a certain order to the chaos once you speed up or slow down the scene, so I love discovering that.
I’ve also been dying to do a helicopter flight around the city because of all the great opportunities that would provide. Having that kind of overview of the city would be such a unique perspective to play with so with any luck, that’ll happen this summer.
How do you choose your subject matter?
I primarily focus on long-exposures, architecture, and street photography as my main subjects. Long-exposure’s I’ve always been interested in because of the unique perspective they can give and I’m interested in architectural photography primarily because of my girlfriend. She's been studying and working in architecture for the last 6 years and I’ve learned to appreciate and see buildings in a different way through her.
Street photography (while not my forte) is mostly of interest because of how rewarding it can be to shoot. When you do actually get that shot it feels like a bit of a rush because of how fleeting the moments are. There’s always a lot to see here and I’m grateful to be someplace with so many diverse characters to try and capture.
The overall theme of my subjects is that of finding patterns or order. With a lot of my street images, I like to isolate my subjects on minimalist backgrounds to accentuate their character and often find myself eliminating perspective from the shots and I really like shooting directly down onto subjects from above because of that.
With architecture shots, I love focusing on the textures and patterns of the buildings while making everything very orthogonal. With long exposures, you can turn hundreds of people or cars into rivers of light or shadow which I’ve always felt simplifies the scene. This is also why a lot of my images are in black and white - it makes the image easier to process and allows you focus on how the city is shaping our interaction with it. It’s also just a different way to see the world from what we see day to day and I like indulging that perspective.
My primary focus is finding a my unique angle of the city. New York City is photographed probably millions of times a year, and I’m ultimately looking to capture the city in a way that others haven’t seen. That said, some of the iconic buildings and cityscapes are really beautiful when captured in just the right light, so I do sometimes make photographs that have that New York City “feel” to them just because I can’t help it.
Follow @nyc.photographs on Instagram to see more excellent photos like these from Alex Sopchak.
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