Tom Olesnevich’s Unique NYC Perspective

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By Alice Yoo, My Modern Met

You could say that New York City-based sports photographer Tom Olesnevich was destined to create this series. When he covers an event like mountain biking, he positions himself as low to the ground as possible in order to shoot the eyes of the rider, from an incredibly low vantage point. Saying, “That’s my style,” the cycling enthusiast combines his skill, his technique, and his passion to capture New York City like never before. Instead of using a wearable sports camera, Olesnevich straps his own DSLR camera to his bike – upside down on a tripod. This gives him more control over the final image and lets him emphasize speed and motion.Lincoln celebrates those who re-imagine the world from an exciting new perspective, and Olesnevich is the living embodiment of this viewpoint. Olesnevich’s love for New York and its distinct boroughs and streets comes through in every single one of his shots. “The diversity of the landscape is fantastic,” he says, “from the cobbled streets of the West Village, to the bustle of Midtown and Times Square, to the serenity of River Road.”Q: Which shot resonates most with people?
The image where I’m riding south into Times Square. I think it’s because it sort of encapsulates what New York City is: the speed, the iconic yellow cabs, and the lights of Times Square.Q: Which street or borough was the most fun?
A: The shots I made rolling through Central Park were the most fun to shoot. Central Park is one of the few places in NYC where you can ride a bicycle (at times) free from traffic and without fear of being run over; it’s like being a kid again. And, for the last decade, it’s been where I go for a respite from the rest of the city, when I need to clear my head and just be a kid again. To be able to capture that feeling was definitely a highlight of the series for me.

Q: What tips could you give to others who want to take shots like this?
A: Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Q: Are there any funny or inspiring stories you could share with us?
A: I’m riding west along 42nd St. fairly quickly when I hear a “clunk.” I slam on the brakes and turn around – just in time to see my camera go tumbling down the street, under a semi. Thankfully, it kept right on tumbling under the truck and popped out the other side, only slightly worse for wear! That put an end to shooting that day though, ha!

Q: What did you learn in creating this series?
A: I learned that, as an artist, personal work is important. These images are what I see in my head when I’m riding through NYC. That they’ve resonated with others is surreal and humbling.

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