Over the years, I’ve photographed nearly every sport there is, or at least it feels that way. One of the exceptions was surfing. Living in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, there weren’t exactly a lot waves around. For a while now, I’ve been hearing that the Rockaways right here in New York are a pretty popular surfing spot. Lo and behold, I learned there was a surfing competition yesterday morning so I grabbed my gear and decided to check it out. Two things I learned: 1) When standing on the jetty, no matter how close to the shore you are, you will get wet. 2) My 200mm wasn’t quite enough to get really good tight shots. I was able to capture a few decent images when one of the surfers would catch a wave fairly close. For the people who went farther out, a 300mm would have been better, or even a 2x. I’ll definitely be making another attempt at it in the future, though maybe waiting until the afternoon or evening so the sun isn’t rising behind them creating silhouettes everywhere…as dramatic as they might be.
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:
Now that it’s officially after Thanksgiving, I feel like I can post these. Even though I shot them in the past two weeks as I was walking home from work. Both were taken on my phone.
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.
Several weeks ago, I heard about this thing called Pogopalooza. It was described as: crazy pogo stick tricks, I’m game. So I decided to head down to Tompkins Square Park to check it out. In my mind, I’m picturing the 1950s style pogo stick that you would see on an old episode of the Andy Griffith Show. Nope. These are some serious pogo sticks, like something the Terminator would have used. Not to mention the dudes on them were jumping 10-, 15-, 20-feet in the air. Now it should have been obvious but it wasn’t just jumping, they had to add backflips, 360s, jumping off rails and boxes, basically all the tricks to cool kids are doing. Of course, there was no way I wasn’t going without a camera in tow.
I didn’t realize I had so many images from last February’s blizzard, but you don’t often get fairly pristine snow in New York City, so I went a little crazy, to the tune of making about 240 frames. I was lucky to catch the sun low in the sky since it was early trying to push through the clouds, which created a great glowing orb effect giving a slightly different feel to some of the images.
Thankfully most of the birds are so used to people it’s easy to get some nice close-ups. Even the not-so-colorful brown and black birds jumped out of the image with the bright background the snow, and the light it reflected onto everything, provided.
Mostly, I stuck to shooting landscapes and using the trees and their spindling, finger-like branches to contrast the snow.
Still cleaning out my backlog of photos, and I came across some pics from the blizzard this past February. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to grab my camera and head to Central Park. Everything looked all clean and pristine early in the morning.
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.