Photographed with a 70-200mm lens.
The rules of composition were designed to help photographers develop their eye. I always encourage my students to learn them, and then break them whenever possible. No need to follow text book instructions when making art. Still, some scenes call for it. This is a classic example of the compositional technique known as "leading lines". The stripes in Playmates Arch lead the eye directly to the silhouetted couple in the distance.
And who could forget his partner, the Xylophone weilding Skunk! I happily stumbled upon this furry duo while exiting a train near Columbus Circle. Rarely is riding the subway a fun occasion, but these two brought about lots of double-takes, looks of confusion, and smiles all around.
This was my submission to the May 15th worldwide photo effort at www.aday.org. The idea was to connect images from all around the world, and create a unique online experience where photographs can be shared, compared and explored. Some of them will be selected for a book, A Day In the World, to be published in October 2012, others shown in exhibitions, either printed or digital. Every single one will be saved for future research and inspiration.
Photographed with the iPhone 4 with frame/border added in Pixlromatic app.
When we are immersed in the daily routine of our lives, it's easy to get caught up in the moment, and lose track of how we really feel. Sometimes it takes a photo to help realize a truth you couldn't previously see. It's through the eyes of the lens that I find a new level of clarity.
I feel that our energy, both mental and physical, should not be applied to situations that lead us in a direction that's opposite of our ultimate goals. Of course we all get off track occasionally, but every so often, it's good to refocus on what's important, shed the baggage, and go our own way.
On a fine morning in Central Park, the Cherry Blossoms frame part of the New York skyline. I used a circular polarizer to cut the glare on the water, and the "cloudy" white balance preset to warm up the scene.
I also ran into this man making creating his own landscape near the Gapstow Bridge.
Even the squirrels got into the action, posing patiently for a man with a point & shoot camera.
Spring on full display.
Just outside of the touristy center of Times Square, not far from the twinkling theatre lights and polished store fronts, there is a darker part of the city most folks turn away from. No, you won't find it in the vistors guide, and it's rarely reported on the news, but as you can see in the image above, there is a story here. While it may seem grim, I believe there is always hope for a better tomorrow.
I've been thinking a lot about light, breaking rules, letting highlights go, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy with real moments captured in time. Here, the technically correct exposure would have been quite mundane. Sure, my subject would be sharp and the highlights not blown out, but it would have been a very straightforward capture of the scene.
Instead, I used a slower shutter while adjusting the focal length mid-exposure to create a different interpretation of this man, hustling to work on a Monday morning, weaving between the crowds, laptop under one arm and phone pressed to the ear.
I've seen this great musician playing his accordian a few times now and wanted to share his beautiful music with you all. In case you were wondering, I did contribute to his collection as his playing always brings a smile to my face. Photographed and recorded with the iPhone 4. Enjoy!
"We're kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols." - Clark Griswold (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation)
This year I was in need of some of that same holiday cheer. Don't get me wrong, 2011 was outstanding on so many personal and professional levels. Still, it would be foolish to think life is all peaks but no valleys. Looking back, the gargantuan tree at Rockefeller Center has always proven to rekindle the wonder and excitement of Christmases past.
Over around 50th street I shot the classic scene in front of 30 Rock. Bustling, the plaza was a beehive of cameras, touristy group portraits, and most importantly, smiles. People had come from all over the world to find their Tannenbaum. This Norway Spruce was especially full, and every few seconds it would twinkle, prompting more flash bulbs to fire. Amongst these complete strangers, I could feel the warmth from the spirit of Christmas.
I'd like to share a few for my favorite Christmas moments from Rockefeller Center. In 2010, I watched the lighting while jammed into the streets with 500,000 crazy folks.
That same day, Josh Groban sang a classic from his holiday album "Noel" and I recorded it with the iPhone.
I've also shot it with a fisheye lens...
...and a little Sony point and shoot with Sweep Panorama technology.
This is the star that used to top it all off. It's since been replaced with something that twinkles even brighter.
From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy holiday season.
We have much to be thankful for this year and are looking forward to celebrating with family and friends. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
A spectacular hike last night around Central Park which culminated with this photo near the Bow Bridge. The weather was warm enough to open your jacket and breathe deeply while admiring the colorful old trees which still remain despite the recent nor'easter. It was the second shoot in as many days which was processed using nothing but the camera connection kit and iPad for post production. The whole thing was done on the train long before I got home. I'm starting to think this can replace my old workflow of Lightroom and Photoshop for a large portion of my shoots. The turnaround is so much faster as I don't have to wait until I'm in front of my iMac to start processing. No need to lug a laptop either as the iPad 2 is snappy and responsive with anything I've asked it to do thus far.
It's more fun to edit with your fingers. You pinch, pull, slide and tap, all of which feel more intuitive than pointing and clicking a mouse. Maybe it's the novelty of it all that has me over-excited, but it feels like painting. Now, I'm not sure how the print output will compare to a photo that's processed in the traditional digital darkroom, so that needs to be tested. I'll share my results here.
In the meantime, this is a video on how this whole camera and iPad 2 connection work.
Now that the sun sets around 6pm, the city is a madhouse as the golden light descends upon the landscape. Just a few blocks away in either direction commuters stream in and out of both Grand Central Terminal and Times Square. Here on 5th avenue, there is a small place to seek refuge, the Bryant Park Pond. It is a seasonal, temporary resting area just for the holidays. Ice skaters circle their way under the glistening skyscrapers and vendors sell an assortment of festive crafts and products. Soon, the Christmas tree will be put up and lit without the fanfare or media coverage of Rockefeller Center.
In true New York fashion, things have been quite productive lately (a nicer way of saying insanely busy). I shot this on my Canon 40D last night and downloaded it to the iPad while riding a train this morning. Edited with the unbelievably powerful app, Filterstorm Pro which does much of what Photoshop can, but for about ten bucks (iPad not included).
The grungy borders were then added with the free app Pixlr-o-matic. If you haven't already picked it up, do so now.
Finally, this post is being uploaded from a free wifi connection using the Squarespace app. I'm about to hit publish and hope things look right for you reading at home. Back with more soon.
At the 2011 Photo Plus Expo, Sony had Samurai fighters posing for people to test out their new DSLR. When I showed up with my Canon and started shooting, I got the feeling it wasn't encouraged. The booth guy shadowed me and was always a step away, hovering. I took the hint and moved on, but only after snagging this shot, and a few seconds of video. More from the show soon.
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I was totally amazed at the beauty of this unique cloud pattern above the Manhattan Bridge and captured this shot before the color dissipated into night. 17 - 40mm lens with 2 stop grad ND, Canon 40D, tripod.
This is the view from the Brooklyn Bridge while walking towards lower Manhattan. In order to hold detail in the sky, I used my camera's spot to manually expose the brightest part of the clouds at +2. By doing so, I prevented a washed out white sky and still retained the darker portion of the upper atmosphere. Considering the shapes, patterns, and leading lines of the bridge, I was comfortable letting it fall to black. This decision also worked to minimize the appearance of pedestrians, and simplified the entire composition.
Rather than posting a typical image of a backlit flag, I wanted to share some more unusual photos from my archive. These were taken around NYC over the past year. While it's a day of celebration for America, I think it's also one of reflection.