Paul Mango: Capturing NYC Light, Day and Night
LUMIX Ambassador Paul Mango is a connoisseur of many types of photography, from nature landscape to portraiture, but the NYC cityscape holds a special place in his heart. Inspired by his daily commute, Paul’s work shows us that familiarity breeds not only affection, but art!
It’s a testimony to Paul’s outlook and artistic eye that he can see such familiar places as perpetually fresh. His tri-state area roots run deep: he grew up in a suburb of NYC and began working there in 1992 after graduating from college. When asked what motivates him, Paul emphasizes the ability of art to transform the everyday grind: “Carrying a camera each day allows me to turn my commute to and from work into my best part of the day. I find that different times of day can dramatically transform the same NYC scene, and I’m motivated by this diversity.”
The ability to see the familiar as new is enhanced in this case by the changing light: “Any time of day or night is a good time to photograph NYC, but I especially love shooting the more dramatic times of day—early morning, evening, blue hour, and NYC at night.” The right choice of gear ensures the ability to capture the cityscape as it quickly and constantly changes.
Paul’s favorite camera for NYC photography on a day-to-day basis is the Lumix GX85. “The size is perfect for everyday carry, and I love the ability to switch [Micro Four Thirds] lenses based on the situation. In NYC, I prefer a wide-angle lens, and my most commonly used lens would be the LUMIX 7-14mm.” For street photography, Paul also pairs the GX85 with the 12-60mm, the 42.5mm F1.7, and he sometimes uses a 7.5mm F3.5 Rokinon fisheye lens for the unique perspective it provides for capturing cityscapes.
Does it sound like a lot to carry around? Not so much: “Since I photograph NYC while commuting to and from work, having a small, lightweight camera is really important to me. I usually carry a small bag or backpack to work, and the entire LUMIX Micro Four Thirds system perfectly meets my needs . . . Carrying this body and this combination of lenses takes up very little room, is lightweight, and provides considerable flexibility.” On days in which Paul wants to carry almost nothing or has an important meeting, he’ll opt for the LUMIX ZS100 or LUMIX LX10 and a small tabletop or mini tripod. Turns out, Paul also finds having a small tripod, such as a Platypod, or similar small travel tripod dramatically increases photographic opportunities around low-light times.
In-between shooting, Paul keeps busy as Executive Director at a large NYC-based financial institution; for that reason, he considers himself more of a photography enthusiast than a professional (though, looking at the resulting work, who could tell the difference?). Labels notwithstanding, this kind of double life gives Paul a unique, meditative outlook: “Photography brings an intense presence; when I’m practicing photography, my mind is 100% focused on photography and I forget all about life’s daily stresses and worries.” This extends to others as well: “My hope is that my photography and social media posts will encourage people to slow down and take time to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us each and every day. Life is too precious and beautiful to go unnoticed.”
Paul Mango is a New Jersey-based photography enthusiast who works full time in the financial services industry in New York City. Paul commutes to work on most days by bicycle and he always carries a camera with him. Photography serves as an important hobby and creative release for Paul and he enjoys photographing cityscapes, landscapes and nightscapes. In addition to photography, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife and children. Paul and his family are passionate about the outdoors and each summer they visit different National Parks in order to spend time together, unplug, hike and take photographs.