Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New York City and a visit to Ellis Island

It has been a while since I have been back in New York City to present at B&H Photo. I am usually here every 3 or 4 months, but since my travel schedule has been crazy, I just have not had a chance to get back here. But, long last I am back, and this time I brought my wife and daughter who made their very first trip to the big city.

On my one free day, we decided to go to Ellis Island. I was happy that they wanted to do this, since I had never had time to visit this iconic area where so many of our relatives had entered the United States.

We waited for almost an hour to catch the ferry over to the island, making a quick stop at Liberty Island to walk around the Statue of Liberty. The weather was perfect, thankfully not too hot or humid.

I brought my Canon 5D Mark III and my Tamron 28-300mm lens. I like this lens for walking around a city, since it is small, light weight and a wide focal range allowing me to shoot wide shots and zoom to 300mm without carrying numerous pieces of glass. For the photo above, I decided to shoot Lady Liberty a little tighter, leaving out the flame. I liked the way that the lines and body filled the frame, and felt that it was more interesting than including the whole statue (like most people would shoot this).

Then we were off to Ellis Island, where we toured the museum. I loved the Great Hall, where twelve million people were processed for entry into the US. Not only was it a pretty room, but it was hard not to stand there on the balcony, looking down at the main floor, and not think about all those people flowing through this room with hope and uncertainty in their eyes as they entered a new world.

As always, I am always looking for cool detail shots. My wife spotted this one.

The lights were so intricate, and I loved the way that they looked against the tile ceiling. I went straight below this fixture and shot directly up.

For this shot, I wanted to highlight New York City in the distance, with the new World Trade Center building. I metered the camera to expose for the city and not for the inside of the Great Hall. I was happy to have all the people silhouetted in the foreground, as it adds to the overall shot.

Another shot of the Great Hall, this time photographed in portrait mode. What really makes this shot for me, is the little girl at the bottom of the frame, pointing up to the flag. She makes me think about all those young children that entered this room so many years ago and probably had the same energy and curiosity.

After walking around the museum for a while, and watching a 30 minute video, we decided to head outside to find one of my wife's relatives on the wall of honor. I saw this view of NYC behind the wall, and framed it to highlight both.

Annette used her Canon G15 to grab a photo of her grandfather's name.

I was framing this shot of the wall and the city, when I saw a family walking to my left. Seeing their repeating shadows on the wall, I quickly grabbed this photo.

My daughter, Ali, wanted a photo of herself in front of the city, so I had her pose for me. After more than 30 visits to New York, it was great to finally have them with me!


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Jeff said...


As usual, a great set of pictures capturing the "essence of place."

The one picture of the great hall has a small element that makes the picture for me and it is the little girl in the bottom-left pointing into the scene. I don't know if you planned that, but it is a wonderful detail (IMHO).

Thanks for sharing your work!

Anonymous said...

Should have brought your drone!

Anonymous said...

Inspiring pictures, thank you.

Is the Phantom going to fly over NYC?

Anonymous said...

The statue of liberty looks like she's crying.