Daily Inspiration #109 by Adam Marelli

Here is a really great shot submitted by Adam Marelli along with the story behind the shot…enjoy!

“Hey Steve,

Hope your move went well, just did the same thing myself. Still trying to remember where I packed my watches. I would take breaks from the move to read your site. My girlfriend said “Are you reading about lenses, again!?” Thanks for the reading material.

This week was Fleet Week in NYC. Back in the 40’s and 50’s when sailors and marines disembarked from their ships they must have fit in better when men wore hats and ladies wore dresses. But nowadays those uniforms are visible three blocks away.

While I was passing through Chinatown I caught this sailor walking up the street. He was coming right into a pocket of ladies. I crouched in front of him as he walked right past me. He is not actually posing, I caught him in mid stride. 90% good fortune and 10% skill. It was the anticipation that made this all possible. To all the readers thinking about switching to a Leica system let me just say that even the fastest camera cant tell you too look across the street to see who is coming at you. The speed needed for most shots is relative to your ability to observe the world around you, for that I prefer a Leica.

What strikes me most about the pictures is the sailor looks like an icon, but no one is paying any attention to him. New York is a certainly a liberal place and military does not have the same following as in other parts of the US. For better or for worse, New York looks in different directions. I’d like to dedicate this picture to my sister (Liesl Marelli) who is a photo journalist for the Army, back in Iraq for the second time.

Pictures was taken with an M9, 50mm f 2.0 Summicron.

Keep those posts coming.

My Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29010922@N03/sets/

Kindly-Adam Marelli”


  1. Interesting, there’s so much movement in it you wonder what’s going on and what will happen next. I feel like returning to it again to look at it again. As some said, it has an ikon quality to it. I like it, though I would brighten it a bit.

  2. @Newbie – Good question! Epson made the R-D1 which is a great camera but others are not making them as the market for them is not worth it to them. That may change and we may see Canon or Nikon make an RF soon, but don’t hold your breath!

  3. Great photo! It’s sad that these folks don’t get high fives everywhere they go, but I think you’ve done a good service by sharing this excellent shot along with the story behind it.

  4. Adam you have caught a very strong image here. The iconic almost “superhero” like nature of the sailors uniform, with the gold and medal flashes standing out clearly against the pure white, is contrasted with what looks like a studied indifference or alienation of the people around him who mainly have their backs turned or pursed lips. This could easily be a piece of photo journalism about attitudes to the military in NY. Great shot.

  5. Great capture and you are right about observing the world around you. Whether you are shooting Leica or (in my case) Nikon or any other system, if you are asleep at the button it is still a missed shot.

    My thoughts and prayers are with your sister during her 2nd Iraq tour.

  6. really does look posed but at the same time if you were posing a model everyone would be looking at you working… so its really a neat picture

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