Saturday was a really gorgeous winter’s day in New York (it felt like a South African winter day) and since I have a friend staying with me, we headed out for an afternoon of shooting…starting out at Union Sq, making our way down through then East Village, then down to Chinatown, over the Brooklyn Bridge and then to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The whole Chinatown/Little Italy area downtown sometimes seems surreal – you walk down one street (Mott) and you feel like you’re in Asia; then step one street over to Mulberry and you’re surrounded by Italian restaurants. Anyway while we were there was a parade going on – with drummers, Santas, snowmen – and Chinese dragons. It was a lot of fun to watch especially since we had no idea it was going to be happening.
A few weeks ago one of the most amazing things happened to me – and one of the reasons for which I do appreciate New York City for…I got to attend a brilliant talk at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, where one of my favourite writers was speaking – Chimamanda Adichie.
I first came across Chimamanda sometime last year when I listened to her TED talk about the danger of a single story (which I have posted on this blog). Since then I have consumed anything and everything I can by her – all her books, and all her talks, lectures and interviews online.
So I thought it would be useful to put some of these in one virtual space:
– The Danger of a Single Story:
– Why We Should All Be Feminists:
– On Writing:
Adichie Introduction from Public Books on Vimeo. [Read more here: “A Study in African Realism” by IAN BAUCOM http://publicbooks.org/fiction/a-study-in-african-realism
Her books are all fantastic but my favourite is her collection of short stories called The Thing Around Your Neck. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to get into this writer’s works. Some of the stories in this are available online but go and support great work and buy the book. My top four stories are: On Monday of Last Week, Jumping Monkey Hill, The Arrangers of Marriage, and The Headstrong Historian.
Photos from the event at the Schomburg Center – Chimamanda with the other excellent panelists: world historian Romain Bertrand, professor of English and African-American Studies at Columbia Farah Griffin and Siddharta Deb, Associate Professor at The New School.
A few weeks ago I met Amber while on my way to a free outdoor concert outside the Lincoln Center when she stopped me to take a photos of my outfit. We got chatting via email when she kindly sent my the beautiful photos and decided that it would be really fun to go and shoot together to get a bit of practice. I suggested that we shoot based on a theme, just to give us a focus – and we choose “inner childhood”.
The photos were taken at the East River Park in Manhattan. We had a lot of fun and got some good shots – although once again I found myself mostly only liking the ones taken on my 50mm. It really is the best value for money lens.
I haven’t been posting much lately because my computer appears to be on it’s last legs and doing even the simplest of tasks generally requires four restarts. Today I finally managed to clean up and sort out some of my photo files and to transfer these pics on to my iPhone (courtesy of which I’m posting this). It is a bit cheesy to post New York sunset pictures but the sunsets and sunrises are pretty spectacular here and I can’t get enough. Lately I’ve been flooding my Instagram feed with dozens of photos taken on morning runs or on the way to work – it’s amazing how that sight can just keep you in a good mood all day.
Anyways, these were taken from Brooklyn heights a few weeks ago when my mom was still here. I spent most of the time cursing my stupid tripod and trying to stop my hands from freezing. Also I only had a 50mm and a wide angle so I wasn’t very well prepared for this session but I was fairly pleased how well the ones of the setting sun came out with the 50 sans tripod. Also, while the Brooklyn heights promenade is a great spot to watch the sunset from I wouldn’t call it the best for taking photos for two reasons: 1. Unless you own a heavy duty tripod, the promenade shakes every time a truck drives under it – not great for long exposure shots. 2. There are some annoying and ugly buildings/construction elements in the foreground that you need to work around/crop out later.
As much as I always complain about my tripod it is very light and I can carry it all day with only moderate back/arm ache. I really want a new and better tripod but I have a feeling I won’t get much use out of it living in NYC where I don’t have a car, or when I travel. If anyone has any recommendations for solid but lightweight tripods they will be most welcome.