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What stopped me walking around NYC

I have always taken a lot of pictures, but not a lot of photographs. I want to capture in a photo what I'm seeing and feeling in that moment.  Here are a few shots where I'm trying to incorporate everything I'm learning ... but most importantly made me pause and want to capture it.

Photo 1: Ice Cream

I was walking by the NY Library and saw this cute little girl eating some ice cream. Loved that her Mom was also eating some and that they were probably not tourists - in that they were eating and walking...getting to where they needed to be on this beautiful Saturday. I'm  still not comfortable getting in people's faces so I was a bit away from them when I shot this. I was experimenting with leading lines in the foreground and like how the rule of thirds sort of separates the girl from her mom as she's walking on the elevated stone.

Photo 2: Peephole

In Grand Central Station, I was playing with framing by using some pillars and then looking down at passing traffic. My lighting isn't so great b/c I forgot to readjust my AWB from Daylight but was ironically enough drawn to the chandelier at the very top of the frame.

Photo 3: Blue

I love when things we expect to be a certain way aren't.  I've grown up to believe that all fire hydrants should be red and so this beautiful blue one (in middle of NYC) struck me.  I didn't want to shoot it straight on b/c it lost the impact of the blue so I shot it from above.  Not quite rule of thirds but tried using the curb to the left to help create some background interest.

Photo 4: Blur

So, turns out blurriness in pictures isn't always bad and I used this to try and create some different foreground. Here, I have people in the foreground - blurred b/c they aren't the focus. Actually, my focal point is the neon sign "Pershing Square". So not sure if the bridge roof in white used as leading lines counds as the mid or background?  Did I get the focal point right?

Photo 5: Crazy Clouds

I love shooting clouds but have found that I am not so good at capturing the awe I feel when I see them without a camera in between us.  Here's an attempt at capturing them as background while using trees as foreground, buildings as focal point.

My question re: fore/mid/backgrounds - can you place your focal point in any of the 3 or must it always be in the mid?

Appreciate your candor and feedback - Thanks!

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