Viewfinder | An Eye For Summer

Heather Holland on the new season’s photographic possibilities.

Coney Island Sunday

“I didn’t get into photography (or what I call picture-taking) until about six months ago when I began my first job as a reporter. One of my first assignments was to take photographs in Stuyvesant Town after the severe snow storm from last Christmas. It was then that I realized how a picture can be used to tell a story, perhaps more vividly than my pen ever could. I took this photo from the boardwalk at Coney Island. Bubbles tend to add a little magic to photographs, but the story of this photo is in the little girl and she told it all on her own.”

Red blanket

“’I saw those gnats swirling around in the sunlight from across Tompkins Square Park, and initially, they were my only motive for this photograph. I wanted to portray the season through those pesky insects.”

Summer starts, three

“This scene reminded me of an old-fashioned side of Stuyvesant Town, the side of the neighborhood that was once a haven for World War II veterans and their families. The man holding the bag behind his back seemed very natural to me and because the subjects were so focused on their game, I was able to capture their genuine expressions.”

Sudden rain

“I was taking shelter under a tree when I saw this man at a crosswalk. His gadgets were out and about despite the pouring rain. I feared for the safety of his gizmos and that tension is what I was hoping to capture.”

Coney Island Sunday

“Right away, I noticed her clothing (very classic); she was sitting on the rail, posing for another camera. I was able to get a more candid moment by catching her on her way down.”

Summer starts, one

“To me, she looked like a lone dancer on a stage, and the streaks of sunlight hitting the field made the scene that much more dramatic. Despite how it appears, there were plenty of people lounging in the green spaces of Stuyvesant Oval that day.”

Naturally red

“While the topic of summer initially drew my eye to this scene, it was the smaller details that told the story, such as the fiery red hair and the man holding a beer to his mouth.”

Coney Island Sunday

“There was a lot of information in this scene and the patterns helped organize it: the light bulbs, the words and the corn dogs in the display case. In this photo, the people became dividers used to frame the shot instead of playing their usual roles as subjects.”

An episode

“While sitting at a bench in Union Square Park, out of curiosity, I took this photo at my hip without looking.”

Summer starts, four

“As the weather grows warmer, Stuyvesant Oval attracts a seasonal crowd of sunbathers, and for that reason, I ventured here to capture some of this summer behavior. By shooting in black and white, I was hoping to show how classically lulling summers in the city can be.”

Heather Holland is community contributor to The Local East Village. Her photography can be seen here.