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.
I shot a fashion show the other night, and as with most things you try to get there early to make sure you have a good angle before all the choice spots are taken. Getting there early also means waiting. So of course I find ways to pass the time by looking for things to shoot. I was luck y to capture this walk through before they opened the doors.
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.
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.
Sunday morning I went out to Orchard Beach in the Bronx for a beach shoot. But the models didn’t show because the weather didn’t look like it would comply. So I had to find some new subjects to shoot.
Several times over the past year, I’ve been attending a networking/photo shoot/creative endeavor on Staten Island. Basically it’s a bunch of creative folks getting together to do what they love…making things. I love it, because it gives my creativity a jump start. Concepts spawn from nowhere as people just build idea upon idea. The original theme (I use that term loosely) was comics, but as you can see it went in other directions, too.