There’s something rather magical about steam, something other worldly which creates mystery. I’m not sure about other places, but New York is the only place where I’ve seen steam regularly pouring from the streets. Apparently this is a result of the heating system which runs under the streets. The result above ground is to create foggy intersections and mystical commuters emerging from clouds of white steam.
For a photographer, this is always a delight. On my last trip to Manhattan I stood on a busy downtown street and set myself up to take shots of commuters walking through this. Below are a few examples of the results – click on the images to see larger files. All images were taken with a Leica TL2, with a Summicron 50mm lens attached, making for a focal length of 75mm. This is a great set up for observing people, as the camera and lens are very small and discreet.