Photography play time!

Play time in New York City

Play time in New York City

Play in New York City

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Play time in New York City

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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.

Winter sunset in NYC

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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.

All aboard…

New York nostalgia train

New York nostalgia train

New York nostalgia train

New York nostalgia train

New York nostalgia train

New York nostalgia train

«Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present… the name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one ones living in – its a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present» – Midnight in Paris

Two weekends ago, and again this past weekend, I took a ride on the nostalgia train in New York City. This is a train composed of museum train cars that were used on the subway lines between 1931 and the 1970s. It was so much fun seeing everyone dressed up for the occasion and to read some of the advertising signage inside the old cars, which had ceiling fans and not air-conditioning (obviously). The train runs during the winter holidays on Sundays, along the M line, making all the stops between the 2nd Ave and Queens Plaza stations.

There is only one weekend left this year (30 December) – for more information, visit the MTA website.

In the mi(d)st of it all

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Yesterday morning I checked the weather outside and saw a warning about heavy fog in Manhattan. I threw on some clothes and ran outside looking completely disheveled because I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to shoot the city enveloped by fog. By the time I made it outside the fog was already more of a mist and the photos weren’t really what I had in mind. These are the only three I felt were worth the upload. Proof again that for the most part, good photos require the perfect combination of planning and luck.

«Upstate New York, autumn, brightly colored leaves…»

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I pride myself on being really good at getting to place without getting lost. Yesterday I really let myself down. After successfully waking up early after a rather big night out, and getting to Penn station on time, I managed to get Lesley and myself to miss the train from Secaucus in New Jersey to Salisbury-Cornwall and we had to wait a whole hour at Secaucus for the next train (there is nothing to do there). I blame this on the fact that the train itinerary says «Frank R Lautenberg Secaucus» but they only announce «Secaucus» on the train itself – something that I should have noticed but I am sure I am not the first foreigner who made this mistake.

Anyway the whole point of this journey was to go visit the Storm King Art Center upstate New York – and it was completely worth the train drama. Storm King is a large park/outdoor art gallery in a breathtakingly beautiful area, especially now during the autumn. It was such an exhilarating experience to walk through the park, breathing in the cool crisp air and watching the gold, orange and red leaves swirling and slowly falling to the ground. I cannot wait to go back in a few weeks and I also plan to get a membership as this gets you access during the winter when the park is usually closed. (Can you imagine a photo of that head and foot sculpture against the snow?)

The entire time while I was there I kept hearing the lines of one of my favourite Death Cab for Cutie songs in my head, whose songs have taken on so much more meaning since I have moved here.

«Upstate New York, autumn, brightly colored leaves
Oh, the hills were on fire, they burn for you and me»

We also had a rather amusing (read: frightening) experience on the way back – the cab driver who took us from the station to the center got into a fight with another cab driver who thought he was poaching us. As a result I have a brilliant idea for a new reality tv show which looks at cab company wars in small towns. The cab driver (who shall remain nameless since I am now in the land where anyone can sue for anything) was hilarious (read: frightening) – he drove like a madman and told us all about how the wheel came off his car a few weeks before and how he has a turbocharger on his own car. Next time I go to visit the center I will make sure he is not the one taking me.

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