Photographer and traveler Stijn Hoekstra is back from a fresh travel in the Big Apple with cinematic shots of the most iconic city in the world.
See New York the way you see it in the movies.
Hoekstra seems to have knack in making almost everything he sees like a film still straight out of the movie screen, perhaps a natural coming from his aesthetics, as seen in his travels to Havana and Tokyo. The photographer once again shares his work exclusively for Lomography Magazine, along with a short interview.
Hi Stijn! Welcome back to Lomography Magazine. You've been to Havana and Tokyo, now you've recently been in New York. What was the reason for the visit?
The reason for my visit to New York was that it would be a great combination with my visit to Cuba. I started off in New York and stayed there for two days, there were no leaves on the trees and it was still kinda cold when I returned 3 weeks later the whole city was transformed into spring and the sun gave me everything for taking the pictures I wanted to take. The other reason was that it was such a long time a go that I visited New York, it was before 9/11 so I even got to experience the view from the World Trade Center.
They say Big Apple is the center of the world -- how was your trip over there? How were New Yorkers and New York itself?
New York is an extraordinary place, the pace is nothing compared to Cuba, everything is in 6th gear. I really enjoyed it, but I was also pretty tired from walking around the streets of Cuba. However I did pretty much the same thing in NY, I just wandered around looking for nice places to photograph. After a little while, I decided to take the metro more often because the distances were too big. I was lucky enough to stay in a beautiful apartment in the West Village across the house of Sarah Jessica Parker, I now get why she wants to live there, it's beautiful, it really feels like a small village in a big city.
The whole downtown area is great with all the high buildings but for me the best place to take pictures is Brooklyn. I loved the DUMBO and the Williamsburg area because some of the streets are not as crowded as the rest of NY and there's such a good vibe. The other thing I liked was the buildings, they are just wonderful for taking pictures. I also liked the financial area, I don't know why but it's appealing to me, I guess I like it that there aren't many cars that could mess up your shot. The New Yorkers are great, very friendly and interested in your stay.
What was the one experience that left a mark on you during your stay?
I'm trying hard to remember what experience left a mark during my stay, I can't really think of one. The one thing that I did notice during my week in NY was that everybody seems to be running or doing other exercises, if you sit on a bench for some time you will see so many people pass by running, it's incredible! I also noticed that there are a lot of dogs in NYC, while most of the apartments are pretty small.
If you can liken New York to a famous figure/icon or a fictional character which encompasses all its qualities, who would it be and why?
I think Christopher Walken would be a great character that sums up New York for me, he can be dodgy, funny and has the greatest voice.
When and where's the next trip, Stijn?
I haven't planed any trips yet, India has been on my list for quite some time now, but so is Argentina and Myanmar. It's going to be a hard decision to make, but I still have some time. I will first go on a sailing trip at the end of the summer with friends and I might not even take my camera with me, but who knows. :)