Tag Archives: New York

52 Week Photo Challenge: Week 3 – Black and White

“The Lyric Theatre” - New York

The Lyric Theatre, New York

Here is this week’s  52 Week Photo Challenge:  Week 3 – Black and White.  This is another new challenge that is starting up from The Girl That Dreams Awake.  If you don’t know her, you should check out her blog.

I made this photo back in February during a visit to New York City using my iPhone.

Posted originally back in March

iPhone 5s
Back Camera  @ 4.2mm
1/30 sec, f/2.2, ISO 80

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Tuesdays of Texture – Week 34, 2016

Study in Wood #3

Here is my contribution for Tuesdays of Texture for week 34. A while ago I started a series of Studies in Wood. This is just one of the subjects of that series. This particular specimen can be found in Bryant Park, just behind the new York Public Library. If you are interested, here’s my original post from March.

You’ll find lots of other interesting texture posts over at  DE Monte Y MAR – do head on over to check them out and perhaps even add your own.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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52 Week Photo Challenge: Week 2 – Black and White

“Fire Escape” - Church Street at Vesey, New York

Here is this week’s  52 Week Photo Challenge:  Week 1 – Black and White.  This is another new challenge that is starting up from The Girl That Dreams Awake.  If you don’t know her, you should check out her blog.

This is my second entry and I’ve used an image I posted several months back as one of my daily posts.

Click here if you want to know more about the image.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 31mm
1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Baptismal Elements” – St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

“Baptismal Elements” - St. Patricks, Cathedral New York

“The Church does not dispense the sacrament of baptism in order to acquire for herself an increase in membership but in order to consecrate a human being to God and to communicate to that person the divine gift of birth from God.”
― Hans Urs von Balthasar

I can’t fully explain what it was that attracted me to this composition. Yet, I find myself processing that very though in this post.

The golden urn and bowl seemed to stand out from other elements around them. The soft, natural light playing on the mottled gray walls further enhanced the image by isolating the table in the foreground.

It’s a simple scene really, and reminds me a bit of the still life paintings in the Dutch Golden Age style, with their bright golden tones and simple depictions of everyday items.

I also thought this composition might make a nice church bulletin cover, celebrating baptism, which is something I used to produce regularly a few years back. The table seems to be ready and waiting, prepared for something to happen.

Nikon D300
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Altar of St. John the Baptist” – St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

“Altar of St. John the Baptist” - St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New .jpg

And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. “I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 1:7-8

Existing light photography offers its challenges and rewards. This wonderful statue of St. John the Baptist, in New York’s St. Patrick’s cathedral is a good example of how existing light can enhance the image. The light is soft and warm and produces a sense of peace, at least for me. The light falls off a bit near the top of the image, bringing out the details of the face.

That’s the benefit, the challenge is having to use a high ISO often introduces unwanted noise, which used to be a significant issue with 35 mm film, but is less of an issue with our modern DSLRs and editing software.

I made several other images while visiting this great metropolitan cathedral, which I will share over time.

Nikon D300
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Lady Chapel” – St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

“Lady Chapel” - Saint Patrick Cathedral - New York

“When introverts go to church, we crave sanctuary in every sense of the word, as we flee from the disorienting distractions of twenty-first-century life. We desire to escape from superficial relationships, trivial communications and the constant noise that pervade our world, and find rest in the probing depths of God’s love.”
― Adam S. McHugh

I have real love of sacred places. Cathedrals are such humbling places, filled with quiet places to sooth the soul and vast humbling spaces that force the eyes to the heavens, yet make us look inward. They are also architectural wonders where I lose myself in the complexity of mighty columns and soaring arches.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City is no exception. It is a vast, marvelous, church built of rich white marble, and surrounded by the busy shops of 5th Avenue, yet offers worshipers and visitors alike, moments of peace and reflection. The cathedral itself was built between 1858 and 1879 in a Gothic Revival style and the Lady Chapel (above) was added in 1906.

For such a vast place, there are many places, such as the Lady Chapel, where you can separate from the tourists and their ever present selfie-sticks, to reflect and pray in a peaceful place. The Lady Chapel is off limits to cameras, which is a great thing, yet I wanted to capture the wonder of this sacred place, and was able to accomplish it, from a distance, with my long lense, without disturbing the sanctity of this important worship space.

As with my earlier image of the Pieta,  I shot with existing light, to capture the natural colours and textures, while not disturbing the space with a bright flash. It is, after all, a place of worship and should be respected.The warmth of this space is particularly appealing to me, accented by the wonderful sea-blue of the stained glass windows.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1,000

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Pieta” – St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

“The Pieta” - St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York

“As he reached the door of the chapel and turned back for a last look, he saw that the Virgin too was sad and lonely; the most alone human being God ever put on earth.”
― Irving Stone

The word ‘pieta’ means pity in Italian. The scene of the Virgin Mary, with the recently crucified Christ on her lap, is one of the most iconic scenes in christianity and has been interpreted through many forms of art, including sculpture. The most famous of these sculptures is, of course, Michelangelo’s version, housed in St. Peter’s basilica in Rome.

This rendition sits just right and slightly behind the main altar at St. Patrick’s in New York City, was sculpted in 1906 by William Ordway Partridge, and was donated to the cathedral in 1915. It is about three times the size of Michelangelo’s version and is one of the church’s many treasures.

I made the image using existing light because of how it lit the statue so softly and kept Mary’s face in the shadows of her shawl. I’m also averse to using a flash in a place of worship. It really is a beautiful statue and tells a powerful story of a mother’s love and loss.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1,000

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Study in Wood #5” – Bryant Park, New York

Study in Wood #5

“Every tree in the forest has a story to tell. Some of them were burnt but they endured the fire and got revived; some of them were cut, their barks injured, some people pick up their leaves to make medicines for their sicknesses, birds used their leaves to make their nests, etc. Upon all these, the tree is still tree!”
― Israelmore Ayivor

This ancient sycamore, in New York City’s Bryant Park, certainly would have stories to tell. I have no idea how old it might be, but someone planted it behind the New York Public library many years ago and it has borne silent witness to a multitude events and changes in its long life. This old wood has weathered time and endured, its bark rough and creased with age, unlike its younger companions with their smooth, mottled bark, so typical of the fast growing sycamores, planted in neat rows in this urban park.

Pieces of bark have fallen off, been broken off, revealing the bright layers below, or clung tight to the tree, growing dark and gray with the patina of time.

As the quote above says, every forest has its story to tell. I look on these gnarled old trees and decaying stumps, thinking back to when they were young saplings. These are the survivors, having outlived other lesser trees, every year marked in their rough and ragged bark.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0 -1.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Kill Plate” – Atro Gallery of Gems, New York

“Kill Plate” - Atro Gallery of Gems, New York

“As I see it, life is an effort to grip before they slip through one’s fingers and slide into oblivion, the startling, the ghastly or the blindingly exquisite fish of the imagination before they whip away on the endless current and are lost for ever in oblivion’s black ocean.”
― Mervyn Peake

A “Kill Plate” is the geological term of a particular strata in which numerous fossilized animals can be found. In this case, a large number of fish, each about two inches long, all died and were preserved as fossils in a narrow layer of sandstone. We will never know what event caused this mass death to happen, perhaps a big wave deposited the fish to die high up a beach somewhere and subsequent waves buried them? Or, a river dried up, with the same effect. It leaves us with an unanswered story to ponder, but the end is written in stone.

I should have written down more of the details about this particular artifact. The primary reason I made the photo was that I saw this as a piece of art and have neither the space, nor the funds for the original, though I am fascinated by the details and wanted to spend more time looking at it. It’s a bit like a large stenciled drawing, with the same shape repeating randomly over and over on a carefully textured background.

I can picture the person who first saw this slab, peeling back the top layer and revealing the scene above. I also imagine this is a small portion of a much bigger slab that was divided and sold off to galleries and collectors.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 80 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“The Lyric Theatre” – New York

“The Lyric Theatre” - New York

“A world which sees art and engineering as divided is not seeing the world as a whole.”
–  Sir Edmund Happold

The varied and beautiful architecture in New York City took me completely by surprise. It must have been quite the place back in the late 19th century. I love fine details and could spend hours sitting in front of a building like this and drinking in all the fantastic stonework. It’s also nice to see how well these buildings have been preserved. New York, at least parts of it, seems to have largely escaped the wave of ‘urban renewal’ that swept through many major cities back in the 70’s, where beautiful old edifices were sacrificed for parking lots or concrete monoliths.

I decided to process this in black and white because it brings out the detail and texture better for me and masks the distractions of the colourful billboards advertising the current show.

iPhone 5s
Back Camera  @ 4.2mm
1/30 sec, f/2.2, ISO 80

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
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