Friday, December 10, 2010

New York in December (Christmas Decorations)

I spent this week in New York City, presenting my work at B&H (largest photo store in the world) and roaming the streets to capture images of the Big Apple during the holiday season. This city really does come even more alive during the month of December.

My first stop was the original Macys store. As you can see, their theme this year is "Believe" and the windows had animated scenes from the "Miracle on 34th Street" movie.

Many of the streets were lined with decorated trees. I liked this one particular shot (5th Ave) with the well lit trees and the street vendor. This really does scream NY during the holidays.

I went over to Rockefeller Center to capture images of the Christmas tree.  I am always frustrated when photographing here since they do not allow tripods. I would use mine until a police officer came up and told me to stop. When I asked why I could not use a tripod, none of them has a good answer. Ughhh.

Moving to the next spot, after being kicked out of the first location, I set up the tripod for a quick shot of the ice skaters and the tree. I know that I was pushing the rules, but I think that the shot is worth it. :)

This is one of the more interesting displays. These are giant Christmas lights which are on display about one block from Radio City Music Hall.

I decided to take the camera off of my tripod and add some movement (and zoom effect) to the lights and like the end result. Something different.

I have taken pictures of Radio City before but never at this time of year. Across the street (kitty corner) from the music hall, there is this huge stack of ornaments in the middle of a fountain. I moved around until I had framed the shot so that the Radio City signs were in between the ornaments.

After shooting the first Radio City shot, I noticed the great colors being reflected in the fountain and framed this shot to highlight the colors in the reflection. I realized that if I shot an image from a higher vantage point, I would get even more reflection. So...I stepped up on the wall by the fountain, and yep, once again had a police officer say that I could not do that. Again, no weird.

One block further and I came across this office building with toy soldiers in front of each pillar.

On Wednesday, I was shooting images in Central Park and remembered that it was the 30th Anniversary of John Lennon's death. I made my way over to the Dakota Building and watched all of the media reporting from John's previous home. Then I walked across the street and into Strawberry Fields (a portion of Central Park dedicated to John Lennon) to see a huge gathering of people singing Beatles songs. It was truly amazing to see and hear this remembrance.

I wanted to shoot an image of his memorial circle, but with the huge crowd, I knew that it would be impossible to make my way into the middle of the gathering. I tried standing on a nearby bench, but it was too far from the memorial, so I came up with plan B. I mounted my Canon 1D Mark IV on my tripod, extended the legs all the way, set the timer for a 2 second delay, preset the focus, hit the shutter and extended the tripod above the crowd, looking down at the center of the crowd. Got it!

At the end of the day, I was walking out of the park and saw this awesome crescent moon in the deep blue sky. I ran to a clearing and caught the moon next to this beautiful building.

Walking back to my hotel at 1am (in 25 degree weather - yikes), I stopped in Times Square to shoot some motion blur images of the cabs going by. I have done this before on previous trips to NY, but it never seems to get old. After shooting images here for 20 minutes I reached my breaking point (freezing my tail off) and headed back to my hotel. For the remainder of my walk, I thought about this crazy city. As many times as I have been here, not being my favorite city, it sure is nice this time of year. There definitely is a different energy in the air...hopefully I was able to capture some of that for you.


Ira Block said...

You sure seem to have some issues with the NYPD. Glad you enjoyed our holiday decorations. Next time, please bring some warm weather to our city from sunny California.

Johnson said...

This blog was so fun and lively to read. Going through all Christmas talking is really making me excited about the holidays already.