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Photographer Tod Seelie's gritty New York

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Photographer Tod Seelie is pounding the pavement looking for the perfect shot.

"One thing that inspires me about shooting in New York City is all the layers that exist in this city, you can come here and find pretty much a version of anything if you look hard enough," he said.

Seelie, who originally came to New York City to study sculpture, fell in love with the city's gritty landscape and instead decided to point and shoot. He captures bold, raw New York moments from a crowd surfer at a former bodega in Bushwick to a shot from the top of the Williamsburg Bridge. One photo captured the flames of a burning car.

"I was just cooking dinner in my kitchen and I heard the explosion," he said. "I grabbed my camera and ran outside, it was just down the block, so I was able to get a shot of it before the fire department, or any other on lookers got there."

In addition to catching spontaneous moments, Seelie typically shoots underground parties and performances, capturing the scenes most of us don't get to see. But he doesn't take all of the credit.

"All of the interesting and creative things my friends do people that I'm lucky enough to know--from building junk rafts to setting up guerilla art installations to having performances that take place on the subway," he said. "I really enjoy all of these creative people who are putting their time and energy into something to make the city more interesting."

Besides making the city come alive, Seelie also wants his you to feel like you're a part of the picture.

"I don't digitally manipulate my images more than you do in a typical darkroom," he said. "The authenticity of the image is very important to me but at the same time I want to it seem as crazy and unbelievable as possible within the realm of reality."

Seelie has a show in Bushwick at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. It features his book, "Bright Nights."

http://todseelie.com/

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