"Cause I'm going to....Strawberry Fields". Yes, I was humming this glorious tune to myself while meandering over to 72nd in Central Park. I hadn't been there for a while, and after listening to a ton of Beatles albums on vinyl recently, had the urge to do so. The thing is, apparently everyone else had the same thought. I'm talking huge tour groups stampeding through the park with every last one of them stopping here for a photo. I'm not upset about it, I mean, how amazing is it that John Lennon touched so many lives with his art!?
This is a special place, and one that everyone should see. As for the photography, I really did not want to shoot the same image that everyone else was getting with their cell phone. After all, the word is IMAGINE, so I thought it fit the bill. First I waited for a lull in the action. As a big group left, I used a slow shutter to show their motion. The 5 axis image stabilizer on the Olympus is awesome, allowing me to hand hold at 1/15th, keeping the rest of the shot sharp.
After this group left, there was a momentary clearing of the circle. Now, this is the shot (below) that everyone takes. Don't believe me? Look at google images for Strawberry Fields NYC and you'll see what I mean.
After taking this record shot, I set out to make my unique image. A light rain had just fallen, giving the mosaic a lovely reflection with a certain bright airiness I thought was appropriate. I had the 12-40 zoom lens, and decided to use this to create intentional lens movement. In order to do this, I set the shutter speed to 1/6. This is slow enough to do some creative things. Before starting the exposure, I zoomed all the way to 40mm and focused on the word IMAGINE. After pressing the shutter I immediately zoomed back towards 12mm. This takes a bit of trial and error, but after a few attempts I got the shot I was looking for.
"Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about. Strawberry Fields forever". - The Beatles