For two and a half years now, I've been living in Orlando, Florida, and have only just finally managed a long weekend in New York. I've already seen lots of pictures, but it's almost impossible to cover everything within 3 days.
As with any trip, I try to get by with as little equipment as possible. Due to the airline's relatively strict baggage regulations, I had to make do with a minimum this time. Normally, I would have taken my PEN-F, as it delivers excellent quality for its size and is so wonderfully discreet.
The weather in New York was, however, also hard to predict and, according to the weather forecast, there would be non-stop rain on the first day. The PEN-F is not suitably weatherproofed, so I decided on the OM-D E-M1 Mark II with the Zuiko 12-40 mm PRO. Compared to a DSLR, this combination is relatively lightweight and should be able to cover most of my subjects, I reasoned.
I generally photograph weddings as well as architecture and interiors. I've always admired unusual street photography, like that of my visionary colleague Thomas Leuthard.During my first few hours in New York, I got a burst of inspiration which I've rarely ever experienced.
This city has such a drive and I discovered subjects on every corner: static subjects, but also situations where I simply had to act fast.
It helps if you have equipment that lets you respond quickly to situations and also focus on them. Unusual perspectives can be mastered brilliantly using the foldable display.
Somehow I felt like one of “them” – a street photographer on the hunt for pictures.
Day one was rainy as forecast. While my wife waited kindly in the woefully long queue in Times Square in the pouring rain to get tickets for an evening musical, I made my way to the neighboring blocks to take some pictures. Finally, the outdoor jacket also made sense – which I had never found before in Florida. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II was exposed to the continuous rain and I knew what a reliable piece of equipment it was.
The last day saw us off with the sun and we enjoyed a bike ride through Central Park. I was again aware of the extraordinary image stabilizer this system offers. In the meantime, I repeatedly recorded video clips. I filmed from the bike, for instance - it's almost unbelievable what the 5-axis stabilizer can do.
I had the chance to master various shooting situations over the weekend – from street photography around 5th Avenue and the subway, to classic tourist subjects like Ground Zero and the World Trade Center One, and the night panorama of Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge. The E-M1 Mark II and the Zuiko 12-40 PRO delivered and made ideal companions. For the next trip, I want to take the 12-100 PRO so I can get closer in certain situations and capture details, for example of the WTC One, or for portraits of people.
Author & Photographer: Alexander Hahn