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Cities in Black and White

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Published May 22, 2017 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 30 Contributors

    30 photos selected by

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Long exposure of the Flat Iron Building in NYC

    #building #manhattan #nyc #single #ny #skyscraper #flat_iron_building #black__and_white

    Three weeks and more than 15,000 images later, here we are: the final, published story for “Cities in Black and White.” I wish there was some way for you to see the process of curating a massive amount of images into a published story. Maybe someday we’ll have a live broadcast of an edit with our editors giving their thoughts on why some images stay and why some might not make it. But on second thought, with 15,000 images, that may be the longest live stream in the history of the Internet.

    Of course, every editor approaches a story differently. I like to start by writing down the type of themes I want to appear throughout this story. For example, I visualized this story flowing through the course of a day, representing everyday moments from each of the cities in the submitted photographs. 

    Dubai skyline with reflection in the water canal. It took me many many trips to the same location...

    #skyline #dubai

    Editor's Note

    I'm so use to seeing Dubai from above in aerial images. This was a different take on the cityscape images and a well done reflection image. I love the dark tones in the water that are leading up to... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This shot was taken in Manhattan, New York. I centred myself in the middle of this circular struc...

    #sky #landscape #buildings #travel #places #photographer #citiesinbalckandwhite

    Editor's Note

    Very creative use of this structure, Krishnan. It works as a nice natural frame for the building that is our point of focus. I think some people might just photograph this structure from a wide poi... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    During my travels, I always keep an eye out for repeating shapes and patterns that would make a n...

    #abstract #architecture #poland #blackandwhite #warsaw

    Editor's Note

    I love the patterns that this building is showing off. This photo would work well for the theme of your personal project about life repeating itself. It's too tough to tell the rooms apart as they ... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I was in London for business. I had a moment for walking around with my camera and saw this beaut...

    #city #london

    Editor's Note

    The light here is so nice! I love how our subject here is stepping out from the shadows, you timed this image just right. Great work being prepared for the moment and having your camera ready. Some... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I shot this image in NYC Subway attracted by the man with the raincoat, being the only one wearin...

    #city #people #nikon #places #blackandwhite #underground #urbantransit #citiesinblackandwhite

    Editor's Note

    I love this moment. I think that this is something a lot of us can relate to. Patiently waiting for the next train during our commute into work or to our next destination. This man seems to be just... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Two old ladies helping each other to cross the road, in the chaotic roads of NewYork.

    #road #help #crossing #oldladies #grannies #newyork_trafic

    Editor's Note

    I kept coming back to this image during my edit. I love how close we get here and how you captured this scene of a couple getting ready to cross the road. My eye goes right to their hands connectin... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    This is a crossroad in Buenos Aires, I think it´s awesome being able to put the camera up there a...

    #street #photography #argentina #blackandwhite #streets #air #drone #crossroads #buenosaires #dji

    Editor's Note

    There is just something so interesting about the layouts and deigns of buildings and their intersecting streets. Seeing this from an aerial view point reminds me that there was some thought put int... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    The Bishwa Ijtema (Bengali: বিশ্ব ইজতেমা, meaning Global Congregation) is an annual gathering of M...

    #people #istema #city_life #city_lifestyle #river_of_people

    Editor's Note

    I love your use of motion here to show us the busy city life that is unfolding in front of us. What I really find interesting are the people who are standing still and standout in this frame. I can... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    "The road to success is always under construction."

    #city #building #construction #blac_and_white

    Editor's Note

    Something we are noticing in cities everyday, construction and the idea of either fixing buildings, tearing ones down or building new ones. This is a great representation of the future of a city as... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Painters are painting a building in Bangkok.The city was built with the poor from the countryside.

    #city #people #bw #bangkok #blackandandwhite

    Editor's Note

    Who hasn't noticed this moment of painters or window washers working from high above the ground and thought, now there's an interesting frame? Great work adding in the onlookers in the foreground o... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Venezia, Italia

    #city #italy #people #fog #life #travel #venice #street #blackandwhite

    Editor's Note

    Street vendor are just one of the many people who make up he culture of a city. They depend on the people who walk to work, tourist who are visiting for the first time, or someone out on their lunc... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Three key figures of the Communist Party of China; Zhou Enlai, Mao Zedong, and Liu Shaoqi. Perman...

    #china #tourist #history #mao #shoppingmall #citiesinblackandwhiteassignment

    Editor's Note

    I still really love this moment and the image. Great toning job here, Wesley. You captured a nice slice of life in the city moment and you composed it so wonderfully. It's interesting to see the ex... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A look lost in the tokyo town hall tower. The feeling that you feel by turning the Japanese capital

    #reflection #street #tokyo #blackand_white

    Editor's Note

    I love the reflection happening in the window. It's such a small detail, but one that caught my eye right away as I was curating images for this story. It's interesting to see the expressions on fa... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Plasco Building Before of the disaster

    #building #tehran #iran #mohsen_keramat

    Editor's Note

    A moment of despair that can happen anywhere, but especially in cities. My eye goes right to the building and the smoke that is billowing from the top, I'm sure from a far away angle this smoke cou... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A trolleybus passes in front of a self-defence shop in the center of Odessa.

    #ukraine #odessa #postsoviet #melancholia #trolleybus

    Editor's Note

    What a perfect moment! Capturing this trolley just as it passes by with the woman looking at the window makes for a great scene. I love how this was framed with the trolley leaving the right side o... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I was looking for a different way to photograph the CN tower in Toronto. I headed for the train p...

    #travel #toronto #cities #citiesinblackandwhiteassignment

    Editor's Note

    I love your decision here to go vertically with the photograph. The train tracks actually lead my eye from the platform right to the tower. Usually I see the CN Tower as just a standalone in the ph... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    I wanted the pictures to introduce us to the people who call it home or their workplace for the day. I wanted to see the details of what makes cities unique, from the architecture to the transportation, to the different ways that light touches certain parts of the street during the mid-afternoon.

    What fascinates me about cities is that even though we live in different places across the world, we still face the same type of situations every day. Everyone deals with traffic, or taking public transportation to get to a job, or sidewalks congested with people on their way to lunch. All over the world, street vendors start their day by cleaning their shops to get them ready for the early morning customers. It’s amazing how alive cities can seem during the day, only to be hushed at night, with the only signs of life being lights in apartment windows.

    For many, classic is better, for others; new can't compare. I love NYC because it makes the poi...

    #abstract #new #architecture #old #contrast #blackandwhite #new_york

    Editor's Note

    The toning and your use of exposure, working with the light in this image are all excellent. I love the detail of the building here that you focused on. It's a nice mix of old and new within the ph... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Portland has some cool buildings. Here’s a shot from a street-level perspective looking up at KOI...

    #sky #city #building #architecture #urban #tower #bw #skyscraper #portland #citiesinblackandwhite

    Editor's Note

    I love the design of this building and how the glass cubes work as nice layers within the image. ... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A couple relaxing at the balcony of an empty building at the city of Rhodos.

    #city #places #blackandwhite #streetphotography #dailydozen #1969tm

    Not a shortcut, but I always walk this path following the scene. On this point, I usually take so...

    #city #white #road #cityscape #light #black #street #bw #uban

    Children playing in 'le miroir d'eau', near 'place de la bourse' in nice city of Bordeaux, south ...

    #children #water #play #architecture #life #family #france #run #bordeaux #cities #miroir

    Editor's Note

    I really love the way you froze this action moment. the reflection off of the ground isa nice touch as well, but I love that small area of fog that is happening in the background as well.

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Shogi

    #streetblack__and_white

    Editor's Note

    Great moment here, I love the spectator on the outside watching from the window. It's a great street scene, it reminds me of passing by shops or restaurants in the city and seeing the people inside... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A vendor selling vegetables in the traditional wooden baskets in the Nishiki market of Kyoto. Mai...

    #city #culture #portrait #japan #tradition #blackandwhite #vendor #kyoto #nishiki_market

    Editor's Note

    I love this scene, Ranit. There's something going on with his expression that just draws me into the frame. I love seeing the lights hanging above the market and the use of black and white tones.

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Skyline and night traffic around "Ngã Sáu Phù Đổng" park in Ho Chi Minh City which is the largest...

    #saigonsaigonskylinehochiminhcityvietnamsaigonlandscapehochiminhskyl

    Editor's Note

    I love the mix of city life as well as the night time traffic that is happening here. I can just hear the cars honking their horns as they try to make their way around this roundabout. It's also in... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    View of beautiful Sharjah city after a rainy day. Shot was taken from the roof top of a 35 floor ...

    #city #roof #sharjah #city_scape #roof_top #black__and_white

    Editor's Note

    Talk about the best view to see the layout of a city. Great work composing this image, Shyjith. There is a small detail I like here of how close the subject is standing to the edge, it gives me a b... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    The city of Cadiz, along Andalucia's Atlantic coast.

    #travel #spain #blackandwhite #cities #cities_in_black_and_white

    Editor's Note

    It's interesting to see the cities edge here and the patterns of the buildings from above. I also like the placement of the cars and how they range in tones from the black and white image. Nice work.

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Another photo from my ongoing project "Chicago Mood". The entire afternoon and evening...

    #cloud #chicago #swirl #trumptower

    Editor's Note

    Really nice cityscape image. I love how that cloud is just weeping through this frame. it's a nice element that can help lead my eye from left to right and it surrounds in the middle focal point wh... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Sometimes you go looking for a shot and sometimes a shot finds you. Having traveled to Tokyo man...

    #night_shots #black_white #tokyo_by_night #ciyscapes

    Editor's Note

    Tokyo is a city that ranks at the top of my travel wish list. The buildings and architecture always seem like they were designed with a future aesthetic. You were right in thinking that this would ... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    A quiet moment above the Avenue of the Americas in New York City.

    #york #new #cities #newyork

    Editor's Note

    You're working with two different exposures here which is never easier. You made it work though. I love how that window is giving you some nice soft light for the room and the subject in front of y... More

    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    Thank you for your submissions and for making this assignment so enjoyable for me. When I started at Your Shot, I remember being called out for liking too many black-and-white images, so it’s been fun to scroll through the grid of only gray and dark tones. It’s a beautiful sight to this guy who fell in love with photography thanks to the magic of watching prints developing in a darkroom.

    I’ve loved watching the conversation grow on the discussion board, where you shared what makes your city unique, or what are the most interesting spots to photograph. I imagined our large community hitting the streets and finding new ways to document the cities that they live in. It’s a great representation of the Your Shot motto, “Let’s tell stories together.” Here we have a final collection of thirty images that show our photographers putting their work together to tell a cohesive story. It’s a story about what life is like in a city, as told by people from all over the world.

    Matt Adams
    Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

    About the Editor
    Matt Adams
    Senior Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
    Matt is a Senior Producer on the Your Shot team. He curates and produces the Daily Dozen gallery as well as monthly assignments. Before Nat Geo, Matt was a photography instructor and freelance photographer working for publications such as Wired, Spin, and Pittsburgh Magazine.

    Photographers Published In the Story