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.
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.
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.
The lovely soft, muted colors of a perfect pink rose with it mesmerizing swirls of petals. I love the off-center composition and the subtle transition to an out of focus foreground and background. This would make a beautiful display as a medium sized floating canvas print. Taken with a Zeiss 28mm f2.0 Distagon manual focus lens.
This image turned out so much more interesting than I thought it would thanks to the use of a red filter that turned the clear blue sky into a dramatic cloud-free black backdrop for Midtown Manhattan. The details of these buildings and their spatial relationships to each other often go unnoticed in color, especially on a clear sunny day like this when the sunshine itself tends to wash out most of the detail. The simple foreground lawn also makes for a very interesting composition against the complexity of the city. Taken with a Zeiss 28mm f2.0 Distagon manual focus lens at f/11.
Stunning and dramatic B&W photograph of the most southern section of Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island taken on Memorial Day 2014. The militaristic attention to detail in this park is a site to behold, as is the incredible amount of white marble used in the park’s construction. The precise angles and lines are a photographer’s dream, and the scene here is quite peaceful, especially early in the morning before the crowds come out to play. The floating statue of FDR is a fantastic centerpiece for this photograph, but if you walk down this walkway past the statue, you’ll find one of the most impressive views in all of New York at the southernmost tip of Roosevelt Island. Keep reading to take a look at a few other photos that capture this view and complete the Four Freedoms Collection; all photos are available as archival pigment prints for anyone looking to bring a piece of New York into their home.
Memorial Day of 2014 was one of the most beautiful days of the past few years… warm, sunny, just perfect. I came across this young woman using a parasol while strolling through Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, and just had to capture the image. There is a very long stretch of pure white marble on the Western side of the park facing the city where the sun gets reflected so brightly that it created this wonderful scene of highlights and shadows that was perfect for a B&W photo, and the out of focus background has an almost dreamlike quality to it that I love. Taken with a Zeiss 135mm f2 Apo Sonnar manual focus lens.