Thursday, December 24, 2009

No matter where or what you celebrate this season - Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Maybe you're heading out to sing some carols or perhaps making it to an early mass.

Here are two images which share the spirit of the season both indoors and out.

Friday, December 18, 2009

It is hard to not be drawn to the holiday scene at Rockefeller Center during the holidays.  The place is really lit up with all sorts of activity.

So each year I try to do something a bit different when I capture the scene.  Here are two very different shots of the same place.  I'm still on the one fixed lens kick so most shots this week were with a 15mm lens.  It was hard to chose but here they are!

Friday, December 04, 2009

This week while walking around one night the sky was clear and the moon was shining bright.

As I checked out the moon I noticed the neat building pattern above.  So here we go with this week's picture.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving holiday.

Enjoy the leftovers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

This week I continued to head out with my 1.8 lens and search for interesting scenes in the low light of a mostly rainy week.

One of the things all New Yorkers know is that getting a cab in the rain can be tough.  The first shot is of some folks leaving a black tie event trying to get a cab around 10:30p.   In the distance you can see the new Highline Park winding through the scene.

The second shot is all about wondering why the new sidewalk ramp areas are so bright and bumpy - it would seem harder on a wheelchair - but i'm assuming it's like the rumble strips before a highway toll - suggesting anyone in a wheelchair slow down before crossing... 
They look like a large Lego mat and they work to make the scene a bit more interesting on a dreary day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

With all of the fancy features on today's cameras it is easy to lose sight of the speed of the lens - which is an important part of the photographic process.  Zoom lenses have proliferated leaving the once common f/1.8 a forgotten relic.

I've decided to use my 1.8 lens for a week and see what I could do.

These two images show what is possible with the street lights only.  The fire hydrant made me reflect on the rundown nature of some of the city's areas.  The yellow tree is something we all see when we stroll down the street - the streetlights backlighting the fall colors for a few weeks here.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Today my regular thoughts on what to send were pre-empted by an unexpected invite to a choice spot for the big parade at 1 Broadway.

The confetti and cheers were flowing and the streets were covered in the aftermath of it all.

A couple of famous new yorkers are in the photo below - and I suppose most of you will be able to ID the characters.  If you need a hint let me know.

Friday, October 30, 2009

This week I made a quick stop at Liberty State Park when I saw it was a nice evening shaping up.

I decided to test the long zoom range of my point-n-shoot camera.   It has a great 10x zoom from 27mm - 270mm.  So a quick shot with that range can make dramatic images at both ends of the zoom.  I set the camera on a tripod and shot one image then zoomed in all the way for the close up of the statue. 

The other is an image of the great walkway out in the water with the view of NYC in the background.  It's worth a trip to see lady liberty and all the views.

Have a happy Halloween!

Friday, October 23, 2009

This week I've been shooting a ton with our INSTAX cameras.  The excitement it generates is really amazing.  If you haven't seen it and aren't sure what I mean look it up and you'll see.  It's an instant film system - so the print pops out the top to share immediately.

This week I had a subject who was kind of camera shy at first but warmed up to the camera.
http://www.fujifilminstax.com

Saturday, October 17, 2009

This week I was putting some miles on the Prius - about 700 throughout NY State.

The good news is that the fall colors are peeking and I shot a ton of images.  So many that I really can't pick just one - so here are a few if you don't mind (you can always opt out - just let me know).

The reason for the tombstone is - (which was in an amazing cemetery near the Great Sacandaga Lake) - that the cemetery still had the horse n buggy hitches out front and rock steps at carriage height for stepping in to visit.  Since my weekly is usually Friday - and it was the 16th - by chance I found this tombstone which had the date of 10-16-1895.

I thought the electrical equipment on the building looked like a sleepy old face.  And of course some leaves and berries.

Friday, October 09, 2009

I've been on a "long" exposure kick lately.  Certainly not very long - but the basic exploration for our cameras and what happens with different settings at night.

This week I shot at 30 seconds on a windy night and the effect is quite apparent as the clouds flew by for this neat effect. 

Friday, October 02, 2009

This week while in Boston I was excited to capture the skyline at night from Cambridge to Boston.  It's a scene I always loved since the 80's at college there. 

While shooting on a tripod I noticed my first shot was blurry at 15 seconds at f/5.6 and I couldn't figure out why since I knew the ground wasn't shaking and I focused at infinity.
Then I noticed I had left the image stabilizer on the lens in the "on" mode - so I switched it off and shot another image - this time at 30 seconds at f/9.  Sharp!

You can see the two images with a close-up for comparison.  Lesson of the day - when shooting on a tripod and trying to hold the camera steady - turn off the stabilizer function since it tries to compensate for any movements and its slight adjustment will affect the image when on a tripod.

The second shot is my favorite with the bike that rode by on the left with it's tail light and lit up guard rail from a turning car.

Friday, September 25, 2009

This week I am looking at the issue we all face when we take what we think is a good photo - and then it turns out to be not so hot.

These two versions are the bland original and then the energized version.  (same exact file - just adjusted)

As you can see about 1 minute of tweaking can lead to a substantially better image and rescue one from the trash heap.  The original has the dreaded cyan digital sky.  When what I saw around 5:20p was a Velvia deep blue sky!

I always recommend doing your best to get a great image without a lot of adjustments - but sometimes you gotta help the camera file to see nature as we "see" it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

There are so many new features in all the cameras on the market today that I've decided to explore them and see which are helpful and which are marketing hype. 

Two features which I really like, and illustrate here are the incredible zoom range on a small camera, and the ability to shoot long exposures with a basic point and shoot camera.

The shot of the Empire State Bldg is from over a mile away.  I would guess about 5,470 ft or so since I was 20 blocks away (commonly felt to be a mile in nyc) and the building is about 1,450 feet high.  You can make out the people on the observation deck  (focal length 436mm).  Anyone remember the Pythagorean theorem?  (shot with the FinePix S200EXR)

The other is a 4 second exposure (F/9) in Columbus Circle looking north up Broadway.  The only thing I don't like about it was that it was 7:24p and dark!  (shot with the FinePix F70EXR)

Friday, September 04, 2009

This week I happened upon a neat scene motivated by several articles in the news on the Standard Hotel.  You can search for them and see what's going on in the windows looking out on the city.

So as I shot the hotel to capture the unique scene I thought i'd share the two very different looks you can capture of the same subject just by changing your perspective.

Just as a fyi these shots were made about 3 mins apart - so nothing major.  Just enough time to walk under the building and get two shots of the window area.  If you need to see more of the hotel I have that shot as well - let me know.

Friday, August 28, 2009

This week I was playing around with a new point n shoot from my company.  One of the nice camera features to have at night is a manual exposure mode so you can really play with light and capture interesting scenes.

Here I shot the sunset happening across the river in NJ and as I crossed the West Side Highway I put the camera on the curb for the street scene.

These images were made at 1 second and 2 seconds with the FinePix F70EXR.

Friday, August 21, 2009

This week the Northeast was hit with our first heat-wave.  Luckily I got to the beach for a couple days and went for a swim.
The waves were crashing and I was playing with our "waterproof" camera the Z33WP.

I snapped this one just before the wave came down and it turned out as a fun one.  Hope you get to the beach soon as well.

Friday, August 14, 2009

This week marked a somewhat somber moment in the (slow?) rebuilding of the WTC in NYC.

Almost eight years later - the trade center construction has finally reached "street level".  The massive 1 World Trade Center building is inching its way towards its 1,776 feet height.  A huge 60ft (70 ton) beam was placed, and the build-out begins.    I was interested to learn that the main support beams are manufactured in Luxembourg.  The building is slated to be completed in 2013.

The PATH and subway trains have been running for years @ WTC and that's been great.

So here you have views of the underground and aboveground.  Though this is not the PATH train - but a shot from travels down there this week. Depending on your email viewer the street may look like you're peeking under....you can't see the beam in this photo - but i found a neat site referencing the moment for concrete professionals.

http://www.aggregateresearch.com/article.aspx?id=16960

Friday, August 07, 2009

There are some spots in NYC where you just can't go wrong when you point the camera out the window.

In the northern shot you can see the rail yards, the Javitt's center and if you know what to look for - the new Highline park snaking along the photo.

Friday, July 31, 2009

This week was a fun one with the camera.  So many great shots happened my way.
But the theme I focused on was circular, so here you have a few of those shots.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yellow - One of the big stories this week was the debate on whether to ban the use of all handheld devices while driving.
As I sat in the back of a NYC Taxi working on emails the other night -  I was suddenly thrown against the divider and really wasn't sure what happened.  Clearly I was not the cause of the accident - but I wish I had seen it coming.

So out I hopped out and figured I'd take a couple  shots while two people who didn't speak english that well argued about who's fault it was.

Blue - The sky image is one that I think makes a great desktop image - so give it a whirl and replace that silly windows or mac desktop you've had since you got your computer.

Friday, July 17, 2009

This week I was lucky enough to capture three interesting scenes.

I've always thought the tennis courts at Stevens are situated in a neat spot and this shows them off.
There was an amazing sunset glow over Louse Point near Amagansett.
And lastly, I've always wondered how a tree grows out of the side of a building - but it does.