Month: June 2006

Sky’s the limit

Sky's the limitGary Sharp using my Canon 20D, 300mm lens and tripod on a rooftop in Little Italy, NY. Gaining access to a rooftop in NY in any neighborhood opens up huge possibilities, both for telephoto shots but also for wide angle (this shot). I’m using his Canon 5D and 24mm lens and this full-frame/wide angle combo gives a great feel for the expansiveness we felt on this rooftop. There were so many shots it was hard to get them all or even see them all.

Looking over Gary's shoulderGary shooting downtown toward Chinatown.

Charlie Rose Interviews Henri Cartier-Bresson

Charlie Rose Interviews Henri Cartier-Bresson and they cover a lot of territory. Well worth watching when you have an hour to spare. Cartier-Bresson’s remarks are nuanced but right on the money. The late Richard Avedon’s remarks at the beginning that Cartier-Bresson is the greatest photographer in modern times is a wonderful backdrop for Cartier-Bresson’s spirit, which is wide open, generous, and gentle.

Source: Dale Allyn

Gary Shooting on the Brooklyn Bridge

Gary Shooting on the Brooklyn Bridge

New York City. Gary Sharp with his Canon 5D slapped onto my 300mm lens clamped to my tripod. We shared bodies, lenses and this tripod and just switched cards around so I got to use his 5D and 24mm prime and he got to use all of my stuff. You don’t want to do this with just anybody but Gary is meticulous and a good friend and I trust him completely. He loved my tripod, head, lenses and I loved his 5D and 24mm prime so we were in a great place to share. After using the 5D I have to say it’s one heck of a camera and I can tell there will be one in my future. Wow. I’ll post some of the images I took with it a bit later. This was shot with my Canon 135mm f/2 which is a wonderful lens. So wonderful in fact that Gary ordered one today. I think it will be fantastic on the full-frame 5D.

Brooklyn Bridge, West Tower

Brooklyn Bridge, West TowerNew York City. This is the west (Manhattan-side) tower on The Brooklyn Bridge and just one of the two massive arches that unite the three vertical columns (like an “M”). Most modern bridges have two columns that are connected like an “H” and some of the most modern bridges in both Europe and Asia have a single column on each tower with the roadway suspected under it (like an “I”).

The size and weight of these towers is impressive even in modern times; I felt like I was looking at The Great Pyramids and wondering how on earth the engineers of the time built this thing, let alone got the bridge put together. Maybe it’s time to rent and re-watch the PBS special on the building of this monster of a bridge (in its time).

Brooklyn Bridge Boardwalk in Bokeh

Brooklyn Bridge Boardwalk in BokehNew York City. The obligatory shallow depth of field shot. Looking west across the boardwalk toward Manhattan from the east tower on The Brooklyn Bridge. Note the yellow line; most pedestrian traffic was coming toward us, very little going across or back into Manhattan at this pont. Everyone was walking out to see the sunset. Few lasted, including us. We got rained on, worn out, and hungry.

Brooklyn Bridge Boardwalk and West Tower

Brooklyn Bridge Boardwalk and West TowerNew York City. Looking west toward Manhattan and the west tower from the east tower of the Brooklyn Bridge. The pedestrian walkway is two lanes on the ramps and in the middle between the towers. It splits around the center column at each tower and gets wider to make its way around. Under the steel superstructure on the right is Manhattan-bound car traffic. Trucks vibrate the entire structure so one has to be a bit careful, even on a tripod as it picks up the vibration.

When I took this (135mm) lens off my camera to put on my 300mm, little did I know that three huge specs of dust would drift up from the motor-way below and adhere to my sensor. All of the images I took stopped down below f/8 for the rest of this trip were unusable. Those of you with a lot of primes like me, consider this a warning about changing lenses on this bridge; it’s windy and a bit dirty up there. I did my best to shelter my camera as I opened it but I guess it wasn’t good enough. Ugh!

Boardwalk on The Brooklyn Bridge

Boardwalk on The Brooklyn BridgeNew York City. The Brooklyn Bridge was designed for both car and pedestrian traffic and the pedestrian boardwalk is well maintained and a pleasure to use. Walkers, runners, and bikers as well as pedestrian commuters use it regularly and at various times of day it can get congested. The boardwalk widens at the two towers and these wide spots are the best place to stop and enjoy the views which are plentiful: the bridge itself; the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines; the river, bay, and harbor; and of course, the variety of people passing by.

A Crane Grows in Brooklyn

A Crane Grows in BrooklynNew York City. We were out on the Brooklyn Bridge taking pictures at dusk and the sky was full of clouds of all shapes and sizes. It’s easy to focus on the fabulous Manhattan skyline or the clouds by themselves but I noticed this crane on the Brooklyn side and once I noticed it I could not get it out of my head. When the interesting clouds drifted behind the crane the drama of the crane increased tremendously and I was glued to it until I got what I wanted.

Ornate Cornice

Ornate CorniceNew York City. This building is on the northwest corner of Spring and Mulberry and is about as old as the building I’m standing on to take this image (1920′s I’d say). The detail in this cornice is incredible. Can you imagine the labor that went into this detail work on this one building and all of the other ornate buildings in this neighborhood, this city, this country, the world (…)? Things have changed I’d say.

Chrysler Building, etc.

Chrysler Building, etc.New York City. The various elements in this image are scattered uptown but compressed in this telephoto view. Others will know the name of the building behind the glass box with the ornate top but to the right is the Chrysler Building and behind it, the top wedge of the Citicorp Building.

The red crane made this image interesting for me.

Water Towers

WatertowerNew York City. Most of the wooden water towers I’ve seen on roofs in New York look much like this: made of wood and held together with cable much like a wine or bourbon cask. The yurt-like shape of these is appealing to me and I’m wondering what the evolution of them is. Modern buildings don’t sport water towers; I guess they’re now built in.

A "Pod" of WatertowersA slightly more modern “pod” of water towers on a shelf-like structure. Note the roofing is tar paper, not wood. Note also the satellite TV dishes.

Curved Platform

Curved PlatformNew York City. I can’t remember which station this is but I loved the curve of the track and the platform. I doubt it’s the norm to have a curved platform; it would seem to me easier for a train to get in and out of a station quickly with a straight platform. I wonder why this station had to be curved?

Keep Your Art To Yourself Next Time

Keep Your Art To Yourself Next TimeNew York City. Walking back from dinner in Chinatown we came upon a corner that was loaded with graffiti, layers of it. While the others yawned I jumped into action.

nihlThere’s something about the randomness of layers of street art that appeals to me, like an open source painting that’s ongoing. Maybe this wall is like an analog wikipedia.