Viewfinder | Urban Composition

Adrian Fussell on the beauty of taking photographs in an urban setting.

Canal Street, NYC

“People on the street give me endless fleeting moments of beauty. In capturing them, I try to make the viewer feel the irony of a scene, feel empathy for the subject, or show a unique juxtaposition. I’m training myself to be ready for those decisive moments in the random chaos of people going about their daily lives.”

East 4th Street

“Construction crews are tearing up roads in the East Village to put in new water pipes, and people don’t often see the complexity of the work in progress. The construction dwarfs the pedestrian on the sidewalk, and the perspective showing the perspective shows why this project has taken years to complete.”

Little India, First Avenue, East Village

“I don’t know how well an Indian restaurant does on a 90-degree summer afternoon, but these men weren’t even trying to rope people in off the street, as those Indian restaurant guys do. Their postures and faces say everything about the business that day.”

Above Houston Street, East Village

“This woman was tending her plants above Houston Street on a balcony four stories up. The plants cling to the side of the wall like an afterthought, embodying the spirit of the city as an urban jungle.”

Tompkins Square Park, Alphabet City

“I caught these children on the playground during the golden hour, right before they ran away to smash a donkey-shaped piñata at a birthday party. Their motion here was framed wonderfully by the jungle gym, a more literal take on the urban jungle theme with the next generation of New Yorkers.”

Above 5th Street, East Village

“There are three quintessential places for New Yorkers, especially East Villagers, to hang out when at home — their stoop, roof, or fire escape. It was a scorching day and this pair obviously had no air conditioner. I saw them coming outside and knew the composition would come together perfectly.”

Adrian Fussell is a freelance photojournalist based in Brooklyn and a graduate of NYU Journalism. His photography can be seen here.