Thursday, November 1, 2012

Walking around New York City: Just days before Sandy (the super storm) hit the city

For the last two weeks, I was in New York City teaching at numerous photo stores in the area. On one free afternoon, I decided to take yet another walk around the city to see what I could capture with my camera. Since it was overcast, with rather dark skies, I decided to bring along my trusty Gitzo tripod and shoot motion blur shots around the city.

I was shooting images in front of the main library, when I saw this one man sitting on a ledge and being very still. I set up my tripod, changed the camera settings to get a slow shutter speed (ISO 100, f18, 2 sec exposure) and grabbed this shot. I really love the motion of the hustle and bustle around him, with him sitting still.

After shooting the first photo, I turned to my right and saw this couple embracing at a bus stop, and using similar settings (ISO 100, f9, 1.7 sec exposure), I shot this. I took many images of this couple as they held still. After shooting approximately 20 images of them, I went down and introduced myself to them and gave them my card. (Photographer's note: If you capture an interesting photo of a stranger, it is always a nice gesture to offer that image to them (at no charge of course). I love doing this and have met some really interesting people along the way. I can tell you that most people really appreciate the offer and love seeing how we have captured them.)

Using the same technique as before, I grabbed this shot outside of Grand Central Station. Just like before, everyone is moving except for this one guy, who happens to be taking a photo.

More photos outside of Grand Central Station, taken during rush hour as everyone was getting off of work and trying to get home.

I stopped at a street vendor's cart to get a bottle of water and saw these flags blowing above me. Figuring that this could make a good image, I set up the tripod and shot some photos of the flags. (Photographer's note: This was a long 5 second exposure, where I was relying on the wind to create the motion. Since I could not predict the winds and how the flags would wave, I shot at least 6 different photos, each one with very different motion in the flags. After downloading and looking at the them in detail, I picked my favorite which is posted here.)

Using the circular shape at the entrance to Grand Central Station as a strong foreground element, I shot this image of the Chrysler Building.

People in full motion inside the busy station.

Normally you can not use tripods in this station, but for the first time ever, not one police officer or security person came up to me asking me not to use my sticks. Nice!

Keeping with the original theme, I wanted to show everyone moving about the station, while highlighting the security officials who stayed still.

This was a lucky shot. I was framing a straight-on shot of the flag when I noticed this one man standing still. He had this look as if he was pondering his next move. I quickly changed my framing and caught this photo, with him in his thinking position, with most others moving quickly around him. He stood in this position for a full 1.6 sec without moving. Very nice of him, huh?

After shooting images at Grand Central Station, I then headed down to the Financial District. I shot these photos to highlight the new World Trade Center building.

I have photographed in this same location (near the Brooklyn Bridge) a couple of times, and really love the columns and how they frame the new World Trade Center.

For the first time in this location, I looked directly up and saw this cool view.

A couple of days later, I headed down to Wall Street to help lead and teach an organized photo walk.

These photos of Wall Street were taken just days before the massive flooding caused by the super storm, Sandy.

One block from Wall Street is a very cool old cemetery. I suggested that we start photographing in this location.

I love this image with the perfect synergy between the two pigeons on the tombstones.

Many of these head stones were dated in the 1700s, and located right in the heart of NYC. Amazing.

For all of my friends who live in the NYC area, I hope that you all get your power back and get back to normal soon.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic post and fantastic photos. Well done, Jeff!

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