Reuters captures the stillness and empty streets of New York City - Reuters News Agency
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Reuters captures the stillness and empty streets of New York City

A message about protecting yourself from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is seen on an electronic billboard in a nearly empty Times Square in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar - RC2RNF911440

By Reuters Communications

Over the last few weeks, the streets of New York City have become increasingly empty as the number of coronavirus cases in the area rise.

Reuters photographers Mike Segar, Lucas Jackson, Eduardo Munoz and Jeenah Moon took to the deserted streets of the Big Apple to capture these very rare moments. They documented some of the most iconic areas of New York City in the these unusual circumstances, including Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge and Wall Street to Soho, the United Nations Headquarters, Lincoln Center and more. While many people are practicing social distancing and self-quarantining, this was an opportunity for Reuters photographers to capture all angles of a city that rarely knows anything but the hustle and bustle.

On his experience photographing the empty city streets, Reuters photographer Mike Segar said, “The experience is just completely surreal. In some ways it’s a lot like covering a big snowstorm, where the city appears super empty of people amid the storm. The stretches of tall buildings and void of people become an altered landscape, which is somehow visually compelling. But everyone is happy when it snows. Not now.”

Commenting on the uniqueness of this situation, Segar explains, “What’s different about this is there is a really scary reason about why the spaces are so empty that you feel personally as you move around the city. Everyone feels it, I think. What I try to do is make interesting wide views of familiar spaces in NYC.  I hope that these images convey some sense of the difference from what is normal.

On what he hopes readers will take away from these images, he says, ”In NYC, it is pretty hard to access inside spaces and people’s personal lives. Intimate people-to-people visual contact in these pictures, in this environment, is even harder still. So, the way I look at it is –this is something I can actually try to do to hopefully connect viewers to the story in a visually compelling way.”

For more Reuters Pictures from the series, click here.

[Reuters PR Blog Post]

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