Friday, April 8, 2011

Inside New York City

Last Friday was a rather nasty day in New York City. It was cold and rainy - nothing like the Spring day it was supposed to be. I had some free time in the afternoon and wanted to get some different photos of the city. So I tucked my camera (with only my 24-105 lens) under my jacket, grabbed my tripod, and set out to see what I could get.

I hung out by the windows at Macy's (34th Street) and wanted to get some shots of their Spring Flower displays. But I soon realized that taking a static photo of the display would be boring and rather "typical". So, in order to show the contrast of the Spring displays and the Wintery weather, I moved back and took motion blur shots of people walking by the displays with their umbrellas out. I took many different shots, generally waiting for people with very colorful umbrellas. 

Then I was off to Grand Central Station to try and get some photos of all the people moving around this amazing building. I have tried shooting here before and was told that I could not use a tripod, so this time I came in through one of the lower entrances and shot as many pictures on the tripod as I could, before the cops asked me to stop. :)

I liked this image but felt that there was too much going on. It was a little difficult to find the main subjects within the frame. So...I created a B&W layer and exposed the color back into the two woman, (who remained still and therefore sharp) on the right.

Finally, I set out to find the Rose Reading Room at the main library. I had seen a photo of this room in Popular Photography Magazine and have wanted to photograph at this location for quite a while now. My friend, Phil Ryan, from Popular Photography told me where to find this location.  I figured that, with the crummy weather, this would be the perfect time to go shoot this indoor location. As I walked into the reading room, I was blown away by the amazing architecture and all of the people who were quietly going about their business.

Like most places in NY City, they did not allow the use of tripods in the library, but there was enough light in the room to let me shoot these images handheld (with a low enough ISO to get nice clean images).

This last shot is my favorite from this trip to New York. It is very similar to the shot that was in the magazine, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - right?). I love the color of the room, the way that the lines draw your attention down the center of the image, the colors in the ceiling, and the people all looking down at their books. I was lucky to have the overcast skies outside, so that the window light was not too harsh, therefore overpowering the rest of the image.

(Photographers note: On days when the weather is not cooperating with you, take advantage of what you have and find something different to shoot. If it were not for the rain and overcast skies, I would never have captured any of the images that you see here.)

Oh - and thank you Phil, for the heads up on this amazing place!

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