We stared for some time at the lead image for October’s Lakewood Shopping Center story, trying to figure out how Advocate photography editor Danny Fulgencio captured the shot. He’s not much on photo illustrations, but did he make an exception in this case?

Turns out, no, the image is not manipulated or some sort of composite. It’s a single frame. But Fulgencio tells us he had a heckuva time getting that snapshot — not because of technical complications but because it’s challenging to shoot a story about walkability when there’s no one walking.

Basically, I was kind of cruising around the area and had a hard time actually finding pedestrians. We predicated the focus of the assignment on New York street photography by Lee Friedlander, and in those photos, there are lots of people walking on sidewalks, as one might expect in a more pedestrian-friendly place like New York. So when I was asked to emulate that style, I was having a really hard time because there were no people around. Our senior art director also said it would be great if we could get maybe a family with a  stroller in the shot, so it was kind of a scavenger hunt to see if I could find that — which I couldn’t because, again, there were no people around.

This was a weekday evening, the sun was setting and I was losing light rapidly. As I framed up a shot at the corner of Gaston and La Vista, I noticed the reflections coming off of the bay windows at Dental Center of Lakewood and was thinking, ‘These windows would make for a great shot if I actually had something to photograph.’ And lo and behold, a young couple came walking across the street with a stroller. As they came into the frame, I just machine gunned my way into whatever people photo I could salvage for the afternoon. If anything, I was thrilled that while it looks like a multi-exposure photograph, it’s actually a single frame and, in an abstract way, it shows the entire intersection from different angles.

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