Saturday, December 29, 2012

Oil Tanks

Oil Tanks

These surely have a name, but they are the openings through which heating oil is delivered to apartments in the city. In my building they are flush with the sidewalk, but here they are mounted upright against the wall of the building.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bridge Apartments


Bridge 1

Bridge 3

First one shot from the shady side, the second two from the sunny side. Still cold today, but at least clear, sunny skies. The blue here is intense, I actually tried to tone it down a bit...

(And yes, the third one is square!)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Three From The River

Life Feeds on Decay

Stepping Stones

River Boulders

Tripod, telephoto, small aperture. Still not as much depth of field as I would like in the last shot. Probably needed to get closer and use less tele, but see below about the freaking cold. I like the results from using a tripod, but man do you have to slow down and take fewer shots and be committed to what you are shooting because fiddling with all the knobs and adjustments on the tripod is such a hassle.

Discovered the zoom feature in live view mode for manual focusing is quite nice. Also need to remember that live view is practically 100% view - I'm used to allowing a little play around the edges when using the viewfinder, so the tip of the log in #1 is cut off. Too cold, though, today. Even with gloves my fingers were frozen after a brief time by the river - wind chill, mainly.

Monday, December 24, 2012


Ginko Base

Exposed Roots 1

Exposed roots 2

The exposed roots of the Ginko tree extend a good meter or more beyond the base of the tree and are well worn from much foot traffic, as seen in the last two shots. Light is a little flat here, but that's what I had to work with today.

Saturday, December 22, 2012



Spore clusters on the underside of fern fronds.

The Art of Chocolate

Chocolate Art

A nice gift from a student, I don't want to eat them they're so pretty. Cropped the aspect ratio just a bit.

Sunday, December 16, 2012



An out of focus twig bothers me on this one, but it was getting dark and it was kind of a throw away shot that I wound up liking....

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Treescapes 1

Treescapes 4

Treescapes 3

Treescapes 2

I've been under the weather lately, and extra busy at work as well (why do those two things always seeem to go hand-in-hand?)

Anyway, a reasonably nice day today for walking around. Went into Inwood Hill Park where there are some really nice old trees. I believe they are the only remaining trees in Manhattan that are of preserved natural forest from the time before Europeans arrived (not any particular tree is that old, but the forest is not man-made and was never cleared.)

I have no idea how to capture the majesty of the individual trees, so I went with my usual detail shots.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dreary Days

Triple Bars

Several days of fog and clouds and light rain here in the city. Posting a couple of walk-around shots from Friday and Saturday.

Cross Bars

Gull at the Marina

Only had time for one shot of the gull before it flew away.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Proceeding Being

By Damien Vera. Constructed of stainless steel and cast stone. Installed on the walkway along the Hudson River in Riverside Park South.

*NOTE: I originally misidentified this sculpture as Proceeding Being.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Video Clip

So I got a new camera for my upcoming birthday (I'm not a kid anymore so I don't have to wait!). Long story, but I kept obsessively checking for something on Amazon (or B&H, or Adorama, or even Canon Refurbished) to have an exceptionally low price and it turned out to be the Canon Rebel T3i with kit lens (18-55) for $499. That price lasted a couple of hours at best until Amazon sold out and then the price went back up to $599. I'm sure there will be similar deals at some point, but I doubt the price will go much lower any time soon. On the other hand, the more recent T4i doesn't seem to be budging in price.

I wanted video and low-light capabilities (my older XTi only goes to 1600 ISO, the T3i to 12,800) and considered one of the Sony NEX systems, but I wasn't keen on learning a whole new user interface and acquiring a second set of lenses, flashes, etc.

Anyway, this is a silly video of the traffic outside my window at work. I thought from time to time I would post short little 30 - 60 second videos instead of photos. This is quite rough, the audio is too loud, I see that even with an image stabilized lens I need a tripod (my breathing pattern is obvious to me in the video!) but it's a start.Watch in at least 720p mode, otherwise it's a waste.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Wild Wild West Side

Wild Wild West Side

I can't see or hear the word "saloon" without thinking of the old west, swinging doors, barroom piano, gunslingers, sheriffs, and ladies of questionable repute. I didn't see any place outside to hitch your horse, though.

Shot Friday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Empire State Bird-ing

Empire State Bird-ing

Circling the building where I was standing on 10th Avenue.


And Hitchcock would love this area of the city. Across the street from where I took this there is an old cathedral/church where an army of pigeons were perched facing the late afternoon sun (yesterday, cropped a lot to show detail).


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Late Afternoon, Thanksgiving Day

New Yorker

And a gnarled "response" to Tournefeuille a to z... - spotted on 60th Street.


I shot a picture of this kind of tree a couple of years ago, still don't know what it is!

And finally a B&W with human...


Saturday, November 17, 2012



No sign of signs here - except for the graffiti, which is quite clear on the balusters if you go to flickr and click on the original size - a juvenile prank that you might appreciate.

November Days

IS 218

Staring with color and from today, a battered sign outside the IS 218 school yard.

On to the B&W...also from today. I always liked the sheer size and old-fashioned look of this sign on Broadway near 187th Street.

Sophia Bros.

And a couple from earlier in the week


And this one has to be in color to capture the glorious algae growing in the busted O--N section under the word "Wash."

Car Wash

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Signs - A Project


I've decided to give myself a little project, an ongoing thing to keep me occupied throughout the year when no other inspiration arises. I needed an easy target, one that is not season dependent, but offers a lot of variety and opportunity, and doesn't stress me out.

I make it sound like I sat and wondered what might fulfill these criteria and then looked around for a subject that would work, but in reality I decided on the signs then retroactively designed a rationale for it :-) But, it works. And yeah, I know, signs might seem boring or trivial, but look at the title of the blog.

It actually started with the closing of a local neighborhood pharmacy (sad story of skyrocketing rents in a slow economy and an emphasis among insurers on mail-order prescriptions)  It's not the pharmacy from the pictures here, but that was on my mind when I took these while out on a walk looking for other things.

Corporate Takeover

I don't think NY will ever be able to function without these local, small, independent enterprises, at least I hope not. It's just too densely populated to be served entirely by big corporations, and like any town, large or small, it's the local business that lends character to a place.

Tooth Decay

Yesterday I had the opposite experience -I went out looking for signs, and stumbled upon the bike racks. I thought, hey, that's pretty neat, serendipity -  I got pictures of things I wanted to photograph (signs) and a little bonus in the unexpected sight of the bike racks with perfect shadows. I wish I had played around with that scene a little more, I think I could have gotten a more interesting angle, but I was self-conscious because two guys were standing right next to the bike racks and it still unnerves me how people stare at you when you are taking pictures.

So here's one from yesterday, unrelated (at least directly) to the pharmacy issue, but in keeping with Bill Wellham's black & white to color ratio :-)


Sometimes the irony is just irresistible. They are open for business.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

No Exaggeration

No Exaggeration

Yes, it was that golden (taken 3 days ago). A combination of the building's natural yellowish color and the warm glow of late afternoon sunset. I made a minor adjustment for slight overexposure in camera, but otherwise no bumping up on saturation or contrast or color channels. Not a great photo, but amazing light...

Posted in response to s.c.'s Dutch Light I should have called this one "New Amsterdam Light" :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2012



From Wictionary:


libar (first-person singular present libo, first-person singular preterite libé, past participle libado)
  1. To swig or sip a beverage (usually implies an alcoholic beverage).
On Broadway. Nice sign, empty storefront. Established 2011. That was fast.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

And Then There Was Snow...

Stop (Already)
Stop (Already)

Snow Blower Tracks

Chain Link in Snow
Chain Link in Snow

Mini Snow Family
Mini Snow Family

At least someone had some fun in the snow.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No Electioneering

No Electioneering

Sign outside a polling place, Election 2012. In 5 languages, one of the things I love about NYC. Apparently the whole world is hoping the right guy wins :-)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Clouds O'er NYC

Looking South at NYC Skyline

Northeasterly Toward the Bronx

GWB Clouds
West Toward  GWB, New Jersey

Castle Village Roofs
North-ish Toward Tappan Zee Area.

All taken from my roof this afternoon, playing around with the telephoto in some of these, one obviously from the wide-angle.