One Photographer Visits 56 Brooklyn Neighborhoods

David Dyte traversed dozens of Brooklyn neighborhoods with his camera, and published the photos in a book.
David Dyte Book Coney Island

David Dyte Book Coney Island

David Dyte's nighttime photo of Coney Island appears in his book, As Seen in Brooklyn.

Photo by: David Dyte

David Dyte

David Dyte's nighttime photo of Coney Island appears in his book, As Seen in Brooklyn.
By: Mina Hochberg
Related To:

Brooklyn resident David Dyte spent over a year exploring every neighborhood of Brooklyn with his camera at the ready — that's 56 neighborhoods, in his estimation. Along the way he captured images that are both iconic (the Brooklyn Promenade, Nathan's in Coney Island) and personal (a blue glass on Bottle Beach, an abandoned teddy bear in East New York). After raising $10,000 via Kickstarter, Dyte published a 162-page book of his favorite photos, As Seen in Brooklyn, which is available via

Dyte, who moved to New York from Australia back in 1999, spoke to us about his book.

How did you first get the idea for the book?

I originally wanted to do something to show the family back in Australia my new world. A small album idea gradually grew into a whole book as I got great feedback posting shots to Facebook.

What are some of your favorite photos?

Long exposures of Coney Island rides, blue glass on Bottle Beach and a sleeping angel in Canarsie Cemetery. Also, anything with cats.

What did you look for as you were shooting each neighborhood? Were you aiming for "iconic" photos, or did you want something that captured the neighborhood on a more personal level?

While there are some iconic items you just have to include, for the most part I just walked slowly around and photographed whatever caught my eye. On a given day, that seemed to vary from yard decorations to baseball games to ancient signage to other photographers.

Are there any neighborhoods that you knew nothing about but that you were pleasantly surprised by? Or maybe neighborhoods that dispelled any preconceived notions?

Neighborhoods with pretty bad reputations — Brownsville, Gerritsen Beach — turned out to be much quieter and more friendly than I was led to expect. Along similar lines, East New York and East Flatbush had all kinds of variation, with some hidden gems for the curious eye. Williamsburg turns out to be far more than Hipsterville, too.

Who were some of the most interesting people you met during the project?

To get into Seagate, which is closed to non-residents, I needed to be shown around by a friend's niece's boyfriend. He turned out to be a great host and tour guide, after all the cloak and dagger of getting me in there. And a manager at Luna Park on Coney Island told me off in a friendly way, but eventually let my against-the-rules tripod slide. I very much appreciate that indulgence.

Some Brooklyn neighborhoods have very defined boundaries, but a lot of them have boundaries that are really subjective. How did you go about defining where neighborhoods began and ended? What were some of the more difficult areas to define?

I asked friends who have studied this kind of thing. I asked Google Maps. I read Wikipedia pages. Ultimately, I trusted a gut feel of what felt like a major boundary. Difficult-to-define boundaries are all over the place. Crown Heights and Borough Park are good examples. No two people agree on where they begin and end. There's also considerable disagreement about what constitutes a neighborhood in the first place. East Williamsburg or the northern half of Bushwick? You tell me.

If you had to pick one Brooklyn neighborhood to settle down in for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

If I had my choice, it would be one of the ritzier parts of Flatbush. There are some amazing houses there. But that will forever be beyond my means.

What do your Australian friends and family usually associate with Brooklyn? Or do they not distinguish Brooklyn from New York City as a whole?

I think that was the way when I first moved here in 1999 — people tended to picture New York as a mixture of famous attractions and streets crawling with danger. Too many 1970s movies. Nowadays, Brooklyn has been the subject of so many trend articles, they imagine hipsters and artisanal food trucks.

What do you do for a living? Are you a full-time photographer?

Sadly, no. I work as a statistician in the research department at Nickelodeon, which is a lot of fun in its own way.

Next Up

5 Great Neighborhoods in Brooklyn

Explore the communities of Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Clinton Hill and Bushwick, as well as nearby neighborhoods.

Washington, D.C.: Like No Place Else

As capital of the United States and home to leaders and thinkers from all over the globe, Washington, D.C., boasts a wealth of arts, culture and history that everyone can enjoy.

What It's Like To Live on Cape Cod

Get to know the sunny peninsula made up of charming towns and a picturesque backdrop.

Boston Sports Fans

Dedication to local teams keeps the city united.

Local Life and Lore in Brooklyn

Trying to chat up a Brooklynite? Here's how to do it and other need-to-know local tips.

What Makes Boston Like No Place Else

These unique attractions and landmarks embody Boston's history and herita

Local Lore and Lingo in Boston

Explore Boston neighborhoods and master key terms and pronunciations to fit in with the locals.

Profile: Brooklyn, New York

This visitor's guide to the bustling borough includes relocation information and top local destinations.

Waldoboro, Maine Attractions and Highlights

Lighthouses, schooners and wineries are some of the unique Waldoboro destinations for residents and visitors.

A Doggie Day Care Service That Comes to Your Building

Mitch Marrow, founder of The Spot Experience, brings pet services to the doorstep of luxury buildings in New York City.


Top GAC Shows

Flea Market Flip

Sundays at 8|7c

Living Alaska

Mondays at 9|8c

Top 20 Countdown

Consult Program Guide

Flippin' RVs

Wednesdays 9|8c

Get Social With Us

Let's explore this country together.