early fishing

Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Distagon menaul focus lens photos

There is a wonderful energy and light in the early mornings in New York, especially in the summer. The city is at it’s quietest, and there are usually only a few other people around who all appreciate this feeling. I came across this gentleman waiting for a bite on his series of fishing poles under the Queensborough Bridge while enjoying the view of Manhattan. The rising sunlight silhouetted the whole scene, and allowed this image to feel warm and quiet, just like it actually did at the time I was standing there. Taken with a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 wide angle manual focus lens at f/2.8.

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morning run

Zeiss 21mm f2.8 manual focus lens with B+W ND Vario filter

This is one of my favorite photos, not because of the lovely colors or the wonderful city backdrop, but because of the motion. I find motion in still photography to be one of the most challenging techniques, especially when the motion has to do with people. Traditionally, long exposure photography that captures motion is in a nature setting where the photographer places his camera on a tripod and then exposes the shot for 15-30 seconds so that water and clouds will take on that lovely smooth appearance we’ve all seen in those beautiful landscape images. Capturing motion with people requires a completely different skill set. You have a use a neutral density filter on your lens so that you can increase the exposure time without letting too much light in. You have to have your focus just right, which is quite difficult with moving subjects and manual focus lenses. You have to have the exposure just right or your subject will end up so blurry that you can tell it’s a person, or not blurry enough so that it only looks like the image is out of focus rather than in motion. You have to keep your camera VERY steady so as not to blur the background, which is quite difficult when you’re not using a tripod and shooting at f 1/10 or 1/20. And you have to do all of this in less than a second before your subject runs away and makes your shot impossible. The whole thing sounds like a big hassle, and while it does lead to quite a few messy photos, when you get it right the results make for really interesting and original photographs. Taken with a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Distagon manual focus lens with a B+W XSPro ND Vario Filter, handheld at 1/30, Shutter Priority mode with vario filter adjustments to ensure an aperture of at least f/8.

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the perfect bench

Zeiss 28mm f2.0 Distagon manual focus lens

Every New Yorker has their favorite bench. You know the one you seek out whenever you need a break on a sunny weekend morning… when you feel like relaxing and reading a good book… the one that ruins your day if you see that someone else beat you to it. This photo captures that idea perfectly. Taken in a tiny east-end park in the Sutton Place area with a Zeiss 28mm f2.0 Distagon manual focus lens wide open at f/2 and 1/5000.

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the ride home

Zeiss 28mm f2 Distagon manual focus lens

B&W hip shot of a man enjoying the relaxing view from the Roosevelt Island TRAM at the end of his work day. The TRAM is one of the most civilized forms of public transportation in New York City, so if you haven’t taken the trip yet, you certainly should. The views of stunning, and most of the TRAM regulars believe in keeping the ride quiet as they decompress from their days on the “big island”. Taken with a Zeiss 28mm f2 Distagon lens from the hip with the focus point planned for the gentleman’s reflection in the window, and then cropped to a square 1:1 format.

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keep it real

Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Distagon lens

This guy had the right idea last summer… taking a peaceful nap in the shade of one of the gorgeous trees in Madison Square Park. I love the grainy-ness and the deep blacks in the image… they make it more interesting and artistic than just a standard sharp focus photo that you’ll see much more often. Street photography is so difficult in New York, but when you nail one, you really get something special. Taken with a Zeiss 35mm f1.4 Distagon lens at f/2.

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energy

Zeiss 135mm f2 apo sonnar lens

Streams of traffic that look like cords of electrical energy moving through a New York City street on the Upper East Side at nighttime. Very long 30 second exposure through a Zeiss 135mm APO Sonnar lens mounted on a Canon 1DX camera.

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being little

Zeiss 135mm f2 apo sonnar lens sample photos

“This reminds of me of being little” is the first thing I heard when I showed this photo, which is ironic because that’s exactly the nostalgic feeling I was going for.

Taken with a Carl Zeiss 135mm APO Sonnar lens mounted on a Canon 5DIII, f/2, 1/125.

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