Skateboard rides down Broadway Avenue in Astoria, Queens, are the common ground connecting teens getting around the neighborhood everyday. Broadway is an essential part of my life because of how often I’m there, riding there to get to the train, see friends, and linger around surrounding stores. I’ve come to learn all the bumps and cracks on the avenue, as well as remembering each street strictly by landmarks. For example, Omonia Café is strictly remembered as being three blocks from the train, the spot where most southern Europeans tend to frequent, particularly for coffee and a little pastry.
I felt like I was in constant motion throughout my project. And so through my photographs, I thought it would be cool to freeze people in motion on my daily journeys down the avenue. I sought out certain colors and tones in my photos, as seen in my image of a man in a bright blue jacket walking past a background of bright orange street cones. It all happened by chance, as I happened to be skating to the train to go photograph in Manhattan. I packed my camera with an 85-135mm lens, which made it perfect for street photography and photographing people from a distance as I was riding.
Demetrios Vasilopoulos is an eighteen year old artist from New York City and a student in the International Center of Photography’s Teen Academy Imagemakers program. Though born in the city, Demetri comes from a little village in Greece where he spends the summers with his family. His days there are spent caring for farm animals and absorbing the sights of nature, which he doesn’t have access to during the school year. In his time as an Imagemaker, Demetri has chosen to focus on his surrounding environment and his personal interactions with people, places, and things. His work consists of street photography and candid portraiture. While he mostly photographs digitally, he also shoots on 35mm and medium format film. Demetri draws great inspiration from artist Philip-Lorca diCorcia and his project Heads as well as from Gary Winogrand and his spontaneous images of American life. He will attend Williams College in the fall of 2022.