So often when travelling we find ourselves in places where there are a lot of tourists. There’s nothing wrong with that and quite often I am one of them. However from a photography perspective it presents a challenge. For me the challenge is either how to incorporate crowds into an image or avoid them altogether. In this case I sat on a bench watching the people at One World Observatory and noticed the reflections creating this scene. I took several photos and this is my favorite.
This is also a good example of post processing. Because right out of camera the people looked more like silhouettes, you couldn’t see too much detail. I was able to bring that out in post processing, and primarily because I used a Sony camera with a great sensor. That sensor captures much more shadow detail something like an iPhone. So this is closer to what the scene actually looked like because of course our eyes are able to capture a wider range of light. I used post processing to bring the detail back from the shadows.
Getting back to the challenge of crowds, the other approach would be to avoid them altogether. To do that you need to get to places early or stay late. I don’t know about you but for me that’s easier said than done. Sometimes it can be difficult to get up and out early. I still try and sometimes I make it and I’m usually rewarded with softer light and scenes without a lot of people.
But these are just common sense tips. What makes an interesting photo is entirely in your head. With photography we can take the most common and mundane of scenes and express something transformative. That’s true for any art form, so whether you decide to include crowds or avoid them is just a technique, the thing that’s really important is what you see.
My last night in Manhattan I spent exploring Central Park and taking a lot of photos. The park is well lit with street lamps along the paths and people milling about just as they do during the day. This is in a section known as Central Park South, which is bordered by the towers of midtown to form a surreal backdrop.
This is thirty-second exposure and it appears a little brighter than it actually was. As a result I didn’t notice the people to the right until about halfway through the exposure. I think they had the perfect setting for an evening picnic.
I rented a bike so I could cover more ground and even at midnight on a Sunday there were people riding bikes alongside me. Maybe I’m naïve but the park seemed safe. Historically the park has had a bad reputation after dark, but it seems to have shed some of that that over the years. There are lights everywhere and paths filled with people enjoying the setting, not to mention an abundance of security.
If the park didn’t close at one in the morning I could have stayed all night. There are endless compositions for photography. But alas I had a plane to catch in the morning so it was just as well. But now I know that the next time I come back I can plan on getting very little sleep, at least at night.
The “Get The Job You Deserve” sign over Times Square is a mammoth structure. I hesitate to call it a billboard; it’s way bigger than that. I took this shortly after checking to a hotel in New York City. Coming from a small town in Florida to the heart of Manhattan is one heck of a jolt, just the kind I needed.
I have a tip if you’re into photography and thinking of going to New York City. Book a room at the Courtyard Marriot on West 54th and Broadway. On one side of the building the rooms overlook Broadway and Times Square. This is the view from a corner room on the 28th floor. The location is about four blocks from Times Square and Central Park in the other direction.
I used to live here many moons ago. The city continues to change yet many things remain the same. It feels like there are improvements yet so much is familiar. Something I noticed is that cabs seem easier to find. My theory is that because so many people are using Uber, cabs are more available. I could be wrong; it’s just a theory.
For all intents and purposes New York City may as well be a nation; boroughs are like provinces or states. You could live in one section of the city and speak a different dialect than in another.
The city has it’s own gravitational field and laws of attraction. If you like the city you are drawn in, if not you are repulsed, there seems to be no grey area; it’s an all or nothing proposition. As for me, I am a monster fan.
Love locks on the Brooklyn Bridge. I wonder if the day will come when these have to be removed. As far as I can tell the bridge seems pretty sturdy and I don’t think the extra weight even registers. Moving along, how cool would it be to leave a lock and then return several years later to see it again? A funny little quirk of how we roll. Sentimentality is a cool thing when it comes out like this me thinks.
A million other versions of this exact same shot have been made. So when here recently I was glad to try my own. This futuristic setting is from Brooklyn near the ferry terminal, these are ancient pilings from some long forgotten pier or dock. A six second exposure makes the water look smooth as though maybe time has slowed down. A parallel universe in a city that never sleeps.
A Friday afternoon scene near Battery Park in lower Manhattan. I was in NYC to take photos and only a few minutes before was over at the South Side Sea Port. My friend mentioned that the sun was going down and so we quickly made haste to this side of the island facing west. As it was the end of the week, most people were out relaxing and sitting at outdoor cafes. This, and a dozen other reasons, is why New York is one of my favorite cities.
If you work on lower Manhattan and live in Brooklyn, chances are you come here to catch a ferry. Such was the case on this Friday afternoon . The waters of these rivers move fast and these boats have a lot of power. It’s amazing to see how they maneuver in and around the traffic from one side to the other. I stood here mesmerized by the scene for a few minutes before grabbing a cab for Battery Park to catch the sunset.
This is taken from the banks of the East River on the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. A group of us from the Arcanum showed up before dawn to capture the sunrise but there were plenty of other subjects at hand as well. These old concrete pilings are probably leftover from some pier or docks in ages past. How cool would it be to travel back in time and see what was here a century ago. Until that time it will just have to be a part of my imagination and the help of a photo or two.
Last Friday, Battery Park in lower Manhattan was the place to be as the week ended with a warm breeze and spectacular sunset. I was busy clicking away when this couple came up and asked to take their picture and email it later. When I got home I realized that I had them out of focus. Arrrrg!!! Lucky enough I had taken this shot with them in it a few minutes earlier. It was an amateur mistake, but hopefully they can take this image as a memory of that moment together during one of the most romantic sunsets of the season.