Tuesday, November 8, 2011

REPOST: On the Street….EOD Spring St., New York

 The other day I posted this image before I had a chance to write the idea behind it.  Well, better late than never.


People often say that “style is in the details.”  That might be true, but if you’re looking for inspiration – like I am when I’m shooting – the first impression a look offers can often be more important than the factual details of button size or skirt length.


When I spotted this gentleman I loved the contrast of the long, somber, Edgar Allen Poe silhouette topped off by a cheerful, bright knit cap.  However, I was on my bike and he was on his skateboard, the sun was almost completely gone and the hopes of a focused image were pretty slim.  I took a few frames and quickly saw that this wasn’t going to work but when I considered what was actually important to me about the look I realized that those elements were still perfectly intact (and maybe even more pronounced?) without the factual distraction of the surroundings.  


At the end of the day this image isn’t about anything other than to remind me to focus/capture what is important to me in any given moment and look.  To let the details slide when it is the “impression” of the look that I want to hold onto!


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  1. K.Mo (@TheFreshFactor)

    November 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Wow, I like this image. It’s like what you see when you spin around quickly, it almost makes you dizzy.


  2. Matt A

    November 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    yesss art!

  3. Name*

    November 7, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    great energy

  4. My shirts

    November 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Love the fuzzy effect.

  5. Bridgette

    November 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Fun optical illusion. I thought something was wrong with me :) The colors. I like the colors. Very festive.


  6. Marcel Da Chump

    November 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    That’s exactly how the corner of Spring and Mulberry looks
    after one too many at the Shark Bar (Spring Lounge).
    Seriously, though, nice touch.

  7. Bad Ass

    November 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Makes me want to go outside and slap my board down. Love it.
    Thank you.

  8. Shauna

    November 7, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    SO FUN!!! the movement- the motion- the orange hat- Love it!!

  9. evan

    November 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Such a cool NYC Downtown Mood shot..love it

    (Life Blog)

  10. Stephanie

    November 7, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I fail to see the sartorial genius here

  11. Bohemian Style

    November 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Fun! I wish you posted more of these.

    Bohemian Style

  12. Marimorena

    November 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    This blurred photo enhances the color of the hat! It’s really clear how well the red hat fits with a black outfit!


  13. Kacie @ A Collection of Passions

    November 7, 2011 at 5:05 pm

  14. Karlie

    November 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    love this post!


  15. Johnny

    November 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Probably it’s me but I don’t get it at all, like AT ALL….

  16. Katarina Susa

    November 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I, a very big fan and follower of yours, as Stephanie says in one of the comments on this post, I really fail to se your usual geniality in this photo. Seems to me as if you didn’t have anything else to post, so you figured why not post an all blurry photo, that everyone has seen before, just to post something. Sorry, I don’t want to be rude or criticize you, but I’m not impressed. My standards get high when I go on top thesartorialist.com – and this isn’t high standards.

    from http://katarinawannabeontop.com

  17. john b pritchett

    November 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Great shot! My head is still spinning:)

  18. i am not a celebrity

    November 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Love. It.

  19. Mr kane

    November 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Fab shot!

    Have a great week!
    JK | http://mrkanerule.blogspot.com

  20. HLN

    November 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    this is not the image quality that we have come to expect from you.

  21. The life after

    November 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Blurry colours!

    The Life After

  22. Anna Manda

    November 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Pretty cool pic but it makes me dizzy!

  23. Lee

    November 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Your eye is always the best and this photo is sensational.
    Te colors just glow!!!

  24. Tokyofaces.com (@Tokyofaces)

    November 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Almost too abstract for my liking, but the colors are nice and the hat really stands out.

    tokyo streetstyle: http://www.tokyofaces.com

  25. Bambi

    November 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Am I high? hahahahha
    funny pic scott


  26. Lauren @Styleseer

    November 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Great action shot. Love the whole effect – very arty.

    The Styleseer

  27. Bernadette

    November 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Dear Scott, I see beanies (with skateboards, FAB shot) and ponchos, things must really be cooling down now in New York. Looking forward to another block of great winter shots from you. Hope the book event was wonderful. B.

  28. Alan

    November 7, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I was sure before opening the comments section that the most of the people will force themselves to find something interesting to the picture, but it is obvious, like in the fairytale, that the king is naked… The photo is unfocused and ridiculous.

    Kind regards,

  29. mark

    November 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    what does EOD stand for?

  30. Jackie

    November 7, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    If this is from today, I think I saw you shoot it! You were on your bike!

  31. Emily

    November 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Post-post-post impressionist post :)

  32. Amy C.

    November 7, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    This picture hurts my eyes. Interesting perspective, but think it would be easier if at least some part of it were in focus.

  33. el viajero impresionista

    November 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Funny picture from Spring St. in Fall, kind of Impressionist style. Nice mix of colours.

  34. The White List

    November 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    People are funny. It’s just a blurry photo. :-) Looks like a mistake. :-D

  35. maria

    November 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    LOVE IT!!

  36. Question

    November 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Mr. Sartorialist, could you please explain the rationale for posting this shot? It seems as though you have attained a sort of breakthrough. Was this your intent?

  37. gabriella sheffield

    November 7, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    this is what i think of christmas =)


  38. Gabriel

    November 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I really enjoyed this! I love how you can get an overall feel of the look without seeing the specific detail. The contrast of the colors … Loved it

  39. LocalCeleb

    November 7, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Reminds me of Christmas on Times Square in NY


  40. Dinah

    November 7, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    EOD = End of Day?

  41. Kate

    November 7, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Loving this! Would all you nay sayers just lighten up. Fashion is art, is it not?

  42. martine

    November 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Fantastic!!!! Thats extremely interesting. the sense of movement, and still a strong impression of what the person looks like with no details. And somehow its so festive, it put a smile on my face.

  43. OMG

    November 8, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Oh please… a blurry mess of a pic and people are gaga over it? Based on the comments above— if Scott forgot to take off his lens cover and had a black picture of nothing, it would somehow be the best picture of the year.

  44. une chatte grise

    November 8, 2011 at 1:22 am

    The photo captures a sense of movement and speed. I also really like the way the blurring makes the skateboarder’s coat and hat somewhat difficult to distinguish from other elements of the urban landscape; he is, quite literally, part of the scene. And, on the most basic level, I just find the image aesthetically pleasing.

  45. Monni Swizzle

    November 8, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Makes me feel nauseous :L
    But still…the effect really looks AWESOME ^^


  46. nina

    November 8, 2011 at 4:30 am

    This looks like a painting!

  47. OnMyEye

    November 8, 2011 at 9:49 am

    As fond as I usually am of the photos posted here, I fail to understand how this short-swinging motion blur image has any meaning related to style, fashion or mood of the moment. Maybe it’s just me, but this particular one doesn’t ring any bell. Other than that, keep the good work going!

  48. proletarian Great Gatsby

    November 8, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Impressionism on photo.I love it.I think Monet would love it too.

  49. James Campbell Taylor

    November 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

    While I think it’s true that there are such things as happy accidents (ask Hugh Grant) and good out-of-focus photographs, I don’t think this is either.

  50. launui

    November 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Loooove it! The colors, the skateboard, the entire vibe… Tres bien!

  51. peter evans

    November 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    shots of skaters just work. check out my shot of a skater in New York on

  52. Remy

    November 8, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Fascinating picture. Great!!!
    Greetings from Amsterdam.

  53. TOM

    November 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    um, i love the sart. but this. its actually kind of irritating to see it here. no offence, because most of scott’s work is genius, and he is genuinely inspiring, but this? i don’t get it. please explain if someone else sees what i am missing?

  54. Expat in Tuscany

    November 8, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Scott spare us the abstract and give us your usual great eye and brilliant clarity. Art must have standards and they knew this in the Renaissance and listed the properties i.e. design, grace, proportion etc. Anyone who has been to Florence and seen the variety and creativity that is all around you, will agree that rules are not confining for great artists. You will always be known and appreciated for the creative photography that is not blurry impressionistic but clear sighted and sharp. The truly rare amount of negatives comments this photo drew is the real answer – Michelangelo believed work would best be judged in the light of the public square.
    You got something going -keep it real.

  55. alana

    November 8, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    looks neat if you crop the top third of the picture, very interesting color. the bottom 2/3 of the photo takes away from the whole.

  56. Irene

    November 8, 2011 at 3:44 pm

  57. Estrella

    November 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Some of your fans need to calm down with the critical comments – such snobbery. I happen to like what you wrote.

  58. http://whatisthenewblack.blogspot.com/

    November 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Well said! Such a great post!

  59. Marcel Da Chump

    November 8, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Art progresses just like life does. It’s in flux, not static. Otherwise, it would not have evolved beyond the Renaissance and towards Impressionism.
    The public’s reaction to the Impressionists first exhibit was the same as the “truly rare amount of negatives comments this photo drew” and history has proven it WAS NOT THE REAL ANSWER.

  60. P.C. Progeny

    November 8, 2011 at 5:47 pm


  61. mystyleforecast.com

    November 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I love the concept as a form of spontaneous moment of reaction. The idea behind the real life. As always inspiring work.

  62. Alexandria Flower Child

    November 8, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    I like it a lot better now that I know why it looks the way it does

  63. CBC

    November 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    wong kar wai……. chungking express…….

  64. Yasamin

    November 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    So wonderful.

  65. a.m.cunningham

    November 8, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    when too much attention is focused on details sometimes the picture as a whole suffers. this is true in art and by extension, fashion. many artists use the “blurry vision” technique to assess the effectiveness of the overall composition and tonal value of a piece. i think your remarks about this shot are honest and interesting. I’m surprised at some of the negative reponses. looking at things from a different perspective is always useful!

  66. Mari

    November 8, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    The view describes exactly same feeling when I encounter with nice people.
    Love it!!

  67. nkiatkul

    November 8, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    equivalent of a gestural sketch

  68. Nansosi

    November 8, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    Love this post. Yes, it’s the essence of something that grabs us at first rather than the details. Giving that sensing importance, honoring it… yeah.

  69. Name*

    November 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Dear Expat from Tuscany; And here I thought that the fifty odd art movements that came after the Renaissance did away with most of the foolish rules. Calling you old fashioned wouldn’t quite do the job…so speaking as the public square I notice a whole lot more positive comments then snark. Gladly giving Scott the go ahead to do whatever he wants in his own blog. What is more interesting is how many of the posters got it even without Scotts explanation.

  70. rlk

    November 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    it is a toque.

  71. Sara

    November 9, 2011 at 12:53 am

    You’re absolutely correct… when you see it, feel it and able to convey it why worry about details! or anything else for that matter.

  72. princessglee

    November 9, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Ok, I feel you.

  73. Name*

    November 9, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Got the idea but it didn’t really work for me.

  74. Harriet

    November 9, 2011 at 5:22 am

    This is incredible, I think this is a good direction to go in for a moment–maybe do a series of more un-focused images?

  75. Angela

    November 9, 2011 at 5:28 am

    Urrah! At least someone who is thinking about the primitive idea of inspiration! “L’Air tu temp”, what you feel instincively, whitout filetrs….You are the real SCOUT
    Following you is an ungoing process.
    Angela Guidi

  76. clarity enhanced diamonds

    November 9, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Just a fantastic shot!

  77. Agnès deB.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:29 am

    “At the end of the day …” You are a writer too! Nice how you tied it together like that. I took a second look and have no gripe with the imagery. Congraulations, a very nice post.

  78. J.D.B.

    November 9, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I have noticed this “blurry” trend in recent ad campaigns, like this one from Bottega:


    The idea of selling the “Impression” not the particular product…

  79. anon

    November 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

    yeah, well, nice try, but still don’t buy it

  80. Sally

    November 9, 2011 at 10:52 am

    The looks you capture where just one element serves as the ‘pop’ of color is evident here (arguable more than ever) with the shuttered effect… If we’re delving deeper the hat almost works as a more stylish stoplight.


  81. courtney

    November 9, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Very cool. sometimes it is just the fleeting moment, the colors, the atmosphere that create a feeling, certainly not the exact details.

  82. Jet lag

    November 9, 2011 at 11:26 am

    No, dude, this picture didn’t work. Doesn’t matter you had a fancy philosophical paragraph attached to it.

  83. Anna

    November 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    This post is why I look at The Sartorialist almost every day. I like the mind behind the camera as much as I love pretty, interesting figures in front of it. Cheers!

  84. Amalia

    November 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I love it Scott. When I gaze at this image, I don’t even realise how many moments have passed until I look away, which isn’t easy.

  85. KJ

    November 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Your writing here sounds like poetry :)

  86. 82Brute

    November 10, 2011 at 7:56 am

    How perfect that you were going after an “impression” because this really reminds me of an post-modern Impressionist painting. In fact, as perfect as this photo is, I’d love to see it rendered in acrylic paint.

  87. aNELIS

    November 10, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I empathize greatly with the Impressionists. I love the irony of you striving to achieve what they did in paint (when they originally were rebelling against the clarity and realism of the photography). And so we have come full circle.

    Yet as much I like the change, I really don’t like this photo. This gives me vertigo. If I feel like I could (or already have) recreated the same image with my shoddy camera skills, it ruins the surprise and mystery.

    Haha, I am so on the fence with this one. LOVE/HATE.

  88. sleekdraft

    November 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

    nice one, not in terms of the photo but to make us “read.” it gave us an awe thought, “wait, wha? the sartorialist took this photo?? there must be an explanation.” and so we did, we read. most of the people going through your blog only looks at photo and not bother reading which for me, one of the most important about a photo is it’s description and how the photographer perceived that image to capture.

    btw, in times like these, don’t you ever thought of just taking a video? it would be easier to play it back, pause, find the right frame and use that as the picture.

  89. George

    November 10, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Thanks for the skateboarder! cool pic.

  90. Heather

    November 10, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    Love this photo! Beauty in motion., moody, and I agree… the lack of focus allows for a clearer view.

  91. Julie

    November 11, 2011 at 8:09 am

    You are an absolutely brilliant man that continues to inspire me with the images that you capture! Thank you

  92. Cristina

    November 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I really appreciated the description you wrote of this photo.
    It really hit home and reminded me not to look, but see the true “impression” of one’s piece.
    Deep stuff Mr. Sartorialist lol ;)

    “At the end of the day this image isn’t about anything other than to remind me to focus/capture what is important to me in any given moment and look. To let the details slide when it is the “impression” of the look that I want to hold onto!”

  93. Ramon christian

    November 13, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    love this image, makes me appreciate all that is street fashion, people watching and photography all in a single picture….

  94. blablabla

    November 14, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Quello che comunemente in fotografia viene definito il mosso del fotografo. Ottimo effetto!

  95. Travis butler

    November 28, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I am 99% sure this is me haha

  96. Linda B

    November 29, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Very nicely explained. I’m a photographer too and I totally get what you mean. It’s also about leaving some “space” for our imagination to give us an impression, and to allow the ‘acurate details’ to become less important.
    Ciao, x x

  97. The Viewfinder (Kevin van Diest)

    January 20, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Interesting to share your idea behind this photo, Scott. Totally get what you mean! Sometimes I’m in kind of the similar situation but I never decided to take the shot ….which apparently wasn’t such a good idea.

    Thank you for your interesting point of view!

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