I meant to post these sooner, but got sidetracked. A few weeks ago I grabbed my camera for an early stroll along the Hudson River one morning.
For a while, I’ve been itching to shoot a footbridge at Brooklyn Bridge Park when at night to capture the lights. But a problem I kept facing is that the bridge as a trailbridge so it’s intentionally made to be flexible, in other words, it bounces when people walk. Cool concept, not so great for long exposures at night. A few weeks ago, it was cold and rainy and completely miserable outside. The kind of night you don’t go outside unless you absolutely have to, so it was the perfect night to capture the lights and skyline without having to try and time in between passers-by.
As I was down there, some serious fog rolled in up the East River. I hurried as quickly as I could before it dissipated and grabbed a couple shots with all it’s eerie effects.
A couple weeks ago, a friend was visiting from out of town and wanted to see the World Trade Center memorial site. I have to admit the site finds a nice balance between quiet respect and remembrance but still having signs of activity and energy.
Since we were meeting other friends later, I didn’t want to haul around my camera equipment, so this is all shot with my phone. I’m sorry for the low-quality, the lack of creative control on a phone can be quite limiting.
I was going through and organizing some of the photos I’ve taken from the past year and realized I forgot to post a few I made at SummerStreets. The city closed quite a few blocks of Park Avenue to vehicle traffic, including the Park Avenue Tunnel that goes around/through Grand Central Station, opening it up to pedestrians only. It was a great chance to use natural light and finding views you rarely get to see unless you’re cruising through in a vehicle.
Of course this also lead to some trippy, kind of creepy, images when I accidentally bumped the camera during a long exposure:
Despite having to work later in the day, I decided to get up early and head over to Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn to shoot some photos as the runners in the annual NYC Marathon traveled past. It’s always somewhat overwhelming to see the sheer number of participants filling a six-lane road and realize you’re watching tens of thousands of people running together. It’s a lot of fun to photograph, people get into it and some of the participants even dress up in costumes to run in. I saw everything from a banana to a few superheroes.
I find the marathon is also a good exercise to challenge myself to make interesting images from a fairly routine event. How many ways can you photograph a person or group of people running in a straight line, right? But there’s so much positive energy from the crowd, I often find it’s the people cheering on the runners that can make for good images.
One downfall of the size of the event is with so much going on it becomes more difficult to pick out those singular moments that can make good images.
And just for fun, I decided to play around with some longer exposures. The colors the runners were wearing seemed like it could lead to really interesting results. I wasn’t disappointed.
Since I had the day off from work and the folks in Washington were no closer to an agreement that would re-open the government, I decided to set out early with my camera. Being that the government doesn’t close down all that often, I wanted to see what I could make images of. Living in New York City, there’s limited exposure to federal jobs that were affected, but the Statue of Liberty seemed like an obvious choice and provided the best opportunity for photos.
After wandering about Battery Park, I walked by the National Museum of the American Indian and over past Federal Hall. Neither of which presented much action, since the only sign of the shutdown were signs posted at the buildings. But those types of situations are what present the challenges that make you a better photographer. Taking the mundane and making a bit more interesting.
Earlier this week, Occupy Sandy put out a call for photographers to help document the damage to people’s homes and apartments in the Rockaways, for insurance and FEMA purposes. The damage was incredible. Nearly three weeks after the storm, there are still a good number of people there without power or heat. Though there are lots of people out there helping: the Red Cross, Occupy Sandy, community organizations and other volunteers all doing what they can. Our first stop was at the Alive Ministry, where supplies were being distributed by volunteers at the church. I honestly believe they would have given the shirts off their backs if it would have helped.
Afterward, we went canvasing along one of the streets to check on people to see if they needed supplies and to document the damage from the storm. One man’s apartment had nearly more than a foot of water during the storm. Inside everything was still damp and wet even the floor and carpet. Glass surfaces like mirrors or photos were covered in condensation.
The next apartment had water up to the ceiling when the floods came, mud and grass were still visible when we walked in. Nearly everything was ruined. Luckily the tenants had a place to stay during the storm.
The boardwalk on the beach less than two blocks away was bent and broken like a child’s toy that got used a little too roughly. Below are a few more images from the day.
I feel like for the past two weeks I’ve done nothing but sit in front of my computer working. So before I went all Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” I decided to grab my camera and tripod. There’s no better stress release than creating something, and I’ve been meaning to get over to the High Line at night, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Let me say, whoever did the lighting design there is my hero. Everywhere you turn it’s beautiful, dramatic lighting. It just might be the easiest place in the world to create incredible nighttime imagery. Take a look:
And one of my favorites:
I got home late last night and wanted to catch some sleep before going through my take from yesterday. With security out in full force, I was unable to near the memorial or WTC without an invitation. Here are a few more that I didn’t post last night, not my best work, but I think they contribute to tell the story.