Cinematic New York

After three weeks of Cuba ( Cinematic Cuba) I ended my holiday in New York City. Such a contrast with the streets of Havana and Trinidad. Once again I wandered the streets trying to capture the city in my own cinematic way with just 2 old 70’s lenses.



After three weeks of photographing Cuba, New York gave me some new energy to hit the streets once again for a week. There is no real concept behind my photographs, I just like bumping into situations and I can be very patience once I see something that I like but doesn’t have the right subject to enter the frame, I just wait and wait till it does. The style of my photographs didn’t really change over the past 2 years, its a style that I developed while taking photos back home in Amsterdam in which I tried to get a cinematic feeling to it. For me that cinematic style is all about framing and light, I love wide angle shots, you won’t see me carrying a 85mm lens out on the streets because I really like to capture my surrounding. The other big part of my developed style is color grading, it’s something I really enjoy doing and it takes a lot of time developing the right mood for a picture. On this holiday I chose only to take 2 old lenses from the M42 series, these are from the 70’s and give you a beautiful bokeh and flare. Downside to these lenses is that you have to focus manually so there not great for snappy situations. But there light and go all the way down to 2.8 and that’s more important to me.


For developing the pictures I always use Lightroom, which I taught myself over the past years. Its a great editing program and the whole exporting options work really well in my opinion. The tools for retouching are very limited but since I only have to clear some lens spots it’s just perfect for me. For this trip I shot all photo’s with my A7RII in RAW, this means that the images are up to 80mb so for this trip I took a big amount of SD cards with me also because in Cuba there is no way the you can buy a SD card which is fast enough for the Sony camera. I didn’t want to take my laptop with me because I didn’t feel like carrying it with me so I wasn’t able to make any backups. Thank god everything went well, the last 2 days of New York I had to buy an extra card because I was almost out of memory.






I only posted my Cinematic New York series yesterday but there is already some respons on my Behance profile which is always nice. I did get so many nice responses on my previous projects of which 2 where also featured on this website: Cinematic Cuba & Cinematic Tokyo. It’s really nice to hear from people who liked your photographs, gives me a great boost and makes me want to travel more, there is so much to see in the world and so many beautiful things to capture.

Go out and shoot and try to develop your own style, once you like it, stick with it. It’s something I’ve done over the pat years and people really begin to notice it.

Stijn Hoekstra

Stijn Hoekstra graduated from the HK in Utrecht, the Netherlands in 2008 as a cinematographer.

Over the years Stijn has built his career on translating his vision into meaningful imagery. He is known for his enthusiastic approach to work and life.

In addition to cinematography he began shooting as a commercial photographer for a wide range of brands. His stills have a rich narrative quality and express his love of storytelling. Besides his commissioned work he loves to travel the world for his personal work where he wanders and explores the streets in search of that one photo.

In his photography he uses a cinematic signature he has developed over the years to capture his images. His framing is always a combination of beautiful light, shadows and strong lines.