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NYC Noir Photo Series Offers Evocative, Atmospheric Look at Contemporary New York

Framing the changing city with a throwback lens, this photo series offers a timeless, tinted version of urban life

Architecture and design photographer Scott Frances gets paid to shoot new architecture and luxurious interiors from around the world, so he’s intimately familiar with incredible landscapes and eye-catching design. But the romance of his hometown, New York, has always had an inescapable pull. Frances found himself drawn to the images he’d capture on foot, in the city’s present, that recalled its romantic past, especially those which included turn-of-the-century architecture. His ever-present iPhone wasn’t able to capture these shots in enough detail, so he started taking a Ricoh GR on his walks throughout the city.


The result of his explorations and documentation, NYC Noir, frames the changing city in a throwback lens, placing modern buildings and cyclists in a timeless, tinted version of New York recalling the work of photographic heroes such as Ezra Stoler, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Berenice Abbott. While snapping images in Manhattan, the 54-year-old photographer found himself "reawakening his youth" and tracing his own history, as much as the city’s. The area where he grew up, 14th Street and Avenue A in Stuyvesant Town, once poor and falling down, has transformed. Having completed such a nostalgia-inducing project, did he miss a time before the city was so wealthy, and safe?

"I don’t miss getting jumped once or twice a week by a gang of kids," he said.

Scott Frances
Harrison and Greenwich Streets
Scott Frances
Scott Frances
Scott Frances
Scott Frances
Scott Frances
Scott Frances
Scott Frances
Scott Frances
Scott Frances

· Looking at the City with a Film-Lover's Eye: Scott Frances’s Architecture Photography [Curbed]

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