This post has pictures from New York City, Hoboken, and Philadelphia.
I don’t have too much to say. Most of the time my posts are related to some more interesting area of the world or concept.
This is really just a collection of local pictures.
Messing around with some ideas.
There have been a lot of things happening in my life, but this blog and this post were never intended to be a documentation of that.
So let’s get into it.
I last left off with Vegas.
Vegas decided to follow me home.
I matched with someone out there who decided to book a flight to come out and see me.
Life was great for a few days. Photography, food, art, connection.
We no longer talk. As is tradition.
Strolling around the city.
And some more strolling.
Get the stuff.
Mary Corse’s A Survey in Light at the Whitney.
I don’t love the Whitney. But I find myself here. I do love Feeling Whitney by Post Malone though.
“Have you ever heard the song New York by Saint Vincent?”
“Here we go now with this.”
Actually this song is so good I’ll post it here.
Oysters at grand central.
Taking the pics.
Let’s take some pictures for posterity.
Ok back to irl. Just me and the camera.
All of the parks.
All of the art.
Stuff outside world trade.
Thought it would be a good idea to stroll over to Hoboken to take pictures. I like going to areas that I hate and seeing if there is anything interesting there.
One of my favorite pictures from this set comes from there.
This is bleh.
I wasn’t in the mood to take pictures of the skyline again. I was literally turning my back to it on purpose to look away from it for more interesting things.
And then life laughed at me and gave me a better picture of the skyline than I would have ended up taking if I was purposefully trying.
There’s a couple pictures I don’t want to include here but I can’t seem to delete them.
I took this walking and just clicking pretty aimlessly at this sign. Didn’t expect it to be all that decent.
Someone needed a ride down to Philadelphia. I’ve been meaning to get down there to hang and take pictures so I used it as an excuse to swing down.
Popped into the Rodin museum and for the first time in my life I understood sculpture.
How dope is this stuff?
I used to love the thinking man the most. But these days I love the loving man.
Messing around with lighting.
And some more messing around.
This is another bad picture that I wasn’t able to exclude for some reason. It’s possible I just need a dash of blue to brighten up the blacks, whites, and greys that have taken over these posts.
Is this the best picture of the Ben Franklin bridge ever taken?
Probably not but I’m rather fond of it.
It reminds me of a huge alien ship.
I almost want to do a series of underneath bridges from this exact perspective. This work has already been done though, so I won’t feel bad when I don’t that.
Turning around and taking another picture of it.
Voyage of Ulysses statue was super frustrating to photograph. It’s on the left in this image and I’m happy enough with how this came out. There’s so many ideas you could apply to this thing and almost none of them worked for me.
There was a suitcase that had books on the corner that anyone could take.
Ok back to ny.
Roosevelt island tramming it up. Dope time. Super hot fire.
Oh snap. The series is underway! Jk. It’s probably going to stay a two part series. But maybe not.
Sliding around the city sometimes surprises you.
Been kind of getting more interested in the human form so messed around with a couple self portraits and nudes one night.
Messing around with some lighting.
Lol. These pictures are just whatever but I don’t often post pictures of myself.
I like this image a decent amount.
Alrighty, back to commuting around.
Back to some art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s expensive at $25 but you finally get your money’s worth at a museum. There is a tremendous amount of stuff to see here.
Some fire pieces here.
There is so much going on and not going on in this picture.
On that O’Keeffe and Stieglitz.
How the guy who was capable of making that was also capable of making this… This is a portrait of his wife. I looked at this piece for a while. While I was viewing it two older women came up. The first comment was how dark the piece was. Then they read the placard and noted out loud how it was his wife, and made the assumption that is must have been an unhappy marriage. I think it’s stupid to assume that. Things can be dark. You can have a good relationship.
Shadows make this a pretty solid picture.
The met is wild for this one.
There’s some good newer stuff all over the museum.
Overcontrasted metal and shadows.
Unbelievably well done.
I don’t often post multiple pictures of the same thing, but look at this thing.
Have been trying to get out into the rain and bad weather to take pictures. Had a chance to do this while I was driving home one day.
Got some decent shots.
This borders on cheesy. Raindrops on windshields is kind of a bad photographic cliche. But this is better than most shots that I never took while driving.
Meh but alright.
Was getting dumped on with rain but ended up with some decent concepts. I might need a bigger sensor to take these kind of pictures. And I probably have to find a way to set the tripod up. I was mostly worried about damaging the camera, but in the future I’ll know how to operate a bit better.
Yeesh this grain though.
Better than not going out.
This is kind of what I had in mind when I went out. When you getting soaked and you’re operating a camera and umbrella (which ended up breaking after using it for two decades) you don’t take time to get a perfect shot. Even in these conditions I need to slow down and spend some extra time framing and getting the shot.
What a bad shot for such a cool subject.
Not too much here.
And getting worse. I think I can’t throw this away because of going through the rain to get it. But I should have tossed most of these pics.
And finally a decent one.
So that’s about it. Been grinding pictures. It’s all I really want to do with my free time.
I’ve been spending most of my free time messing around with the camera. Strolling around fairly locally, seeing what I could find.
Not much commentary, which has been a growing trend as the pictures have been taking precedence to the words.
These next few pictures are within walking distance to my place.
When I was younger I remember thinking about street poles and all the staples that were stuck in them. So many long forgotten messages about what to see or buy.
The Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery is nearby. It was abandoned in 2008, but a volunteer organization has been slowly repairing it back to a well kept condition.
Any cemetery with a weather beaten Lowrey is fine by me.
And of course every good cemetery needs a cemetery cat.
It’s somewhat hard to figure out what some of these graves might be. I’m not sure if this teddy bear signifies a child was buried here, but someone cared enough at some point to leave this here.
Apparently in the summer there are goats here that are used to control the weeds. I cannot confirm that is case as it’s only the spring.
There’s some pretty dope graffiti out on 13th street.
I love the pack of wild dogs running along the sidewalk.
And here’s a picture of plastic in a tree that I think looks kind of nice. I don’t exactly love the picture but I think it’s cool how closely the material and the branches intertwine together, forming this almost angelic figure.
Walked out to Liberty State Park one day. There’s an abandoned rail station here. You can get to some parts of it, but other parts you can’t access.
Stuck behind the gates.
It’s a rather beautiful sight.
You can of course get some good shots of the skyline over here.
Back inside offers some symmetric shots that shoot themselves.
And anotha one.
I’ve also been strolling around New York a bunch taking pictures all over.
This next picture is the building next to Boston Consulting Group’s New York offices.
There is some pretty nice housing over looking the High Line.
Oculus? Why not. It’s one of my worst pics of it but I love this building.
Brookfield Place, also known as World Financial Center, is a pretty terrible shopping center.
St. Paul’s Chapel and One World Trade. Not the best picture but I’m including it anyway. At one point (back in 1766 when it was completed) St. Paul’s was the tallest building in New York City. Now it’s the building behind it.
The cemetery at St. Paul’s.
Down underneath the FDR Drive.
With views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
I don’t think this picture translated well, but guess what, I’m including it anyways.
I’ve been working out in Times Square for some time now and finally got around to taking some pictures of it. Initially I wanted to shoot it in a way that I thought might be original. To look for things that others might not see. To take unconventional shots of it.
That mostly didn’t happen. What happened was the interesting subject was the people there. The mix of tourists and locals.
I experimented with kind of more traditional “street photography.” With being a creeper and taking pictures of people without them knowing. It’s actually quite difficult to get the focus down at these distances. People walk through the frame in a fraction of a second. So you need to get the composure, focus, and subjects all together very quickly or the shot won’t come out that good.
I’ve never really taken pictures of people much. I kind of always thought there was a lot more interesting subjects. But from this venturing out I think it’s something I might do a bit more of, or incorporate into my shots a bit more.
I think the annoying thing about a lot of people photography is the subjects that are chosen. Often photographers will look for a subject that looks “different” from them. This often leads to shots that photographers think are interesting that are really just offensive. Just because someone looks different than you, it doesn’t make it interesting, or even mean they’re that different. You’re just kind of conveying your ignorance.
It’s like a street picture of a “homeless” person. It’s more offensive than it is interesting. Homeless people look all kinds of different ways. And the fact that you went for the poorer looking person that you probably didn’t spend any time talking to or trying to understand the situation is annoying.
Idk. Photographing people is also intrusive.
It’s not very comfortable for either side of the camera.
And there’s questions of its ethics if you use it for your career or to increase your publicity.
Maybe I’m overthinking it all. Maybe not.
I didn’t expect myself to really get into it, and I’m curious how long this interest will last for.
So, that was a lot of words. Time for a picture. I like this picture. I remember capturing the classic local New Yorker in this picture. I had no recollection of the touristy mother and daughter in the background. The Times Square backdrop provides an interesting blend of colors. To me this is an iconic picture of the area. I’m old man dread deep in existential thought, while the absurdity whirls on around me.
This next picture is more of what I had intended to capture. I wanted to take lots of pictures like this of Times Square, but I only really every captured this one. You probably can’t tell where this picture was taken. It’s of temporary fencing that the police sometimes setup. The chain adds a gorgeous stroke of detail.
There’s a lot of pictures taken of Times Square. All the time. Even in terrible rain and snow storms. But I think very few people look for something like this.
More people. I think this lady was just blinking as she walked past the camera. She’s probably not as in thought as the picture might suggest. I kind of dig the backgrounds on these images. They’re like Vice City/Las Vegas trippy druggy mixtures of what my commute often reminds me of.
And one more, why not. I come back to this spot a couple days later and end up taking some better pictures.
I’ve been wanting to go to the Guggenheim for some time. For a long while I’ve thought it was a terrible design for a building. I’ve always thought the angled floors would make most art be perceived in ways that the artist hadn’t intended. And not in a good way. In a, rectangular painting hanging on a wall that has a sloped ceiling and floor and just looks terrible, sort of a way.
I end up walking up the museum’s spiraling staircase (idk what to call it). The walk up doesn’t work well. You often have to turn completely in the opposite direction to view a photo or piece of art that is on the opposite side of one of the short walls that breaks up the sections of spiral.
The decision to include the girl in this picture comes from the recent street/person photography I’ve been messing around with. I think she adds some depths to the picture.
One of my favorite things in the museum is this hanging metallic piece. There’s a lot of hanging pieces here, but the simplicity of this one and the view looking straight up is pretty awesome.
There’s a collection of younger artists’ work here, some as young as four years old. I like to spend time looking at this stuff in the same lens as the rest of the professional work. I’m not sure you could tell this elephant mask was done by an amateur, but I think it’s cool.
Also cool are these little guys. They were thrown on the ground by a professional artist.
As I head up the museum and get more into the natural light it feels like a crescendo of light. The sense of anticipation for what is to come becomes exciting. Finally, the design of this building (and the ludicrous $25 ticket) might all be worth it. Art has to be free and available to everyone. And while the Guggenheim does have it’s Pay What you Wish for two hours a week, the other 99% (this is the actual number) of the week’s hours are either paid or the museum is closed.
When I get to the top nothing magical happens. I snap a picture near the top. The building is beautiful, but I’m not certain it should outshine the pieces of art it houses this much. To be honest I think it speaks more to the lack of quality of the work within the museum.
I end up walking down and swinging out. The walk down is nice as it’s all downhill and easy enough on the feet.
Apparently I didn’t do this museum as it was intended to be done. You’re supposed to take the elevator to the top and then walk down from there. I kind of disagree that that makes sense as you’re eliminating that opportunity for the beautiful play on the natural lighting.
Idk, the beautiful architecture of the museum disappointed as much as I thought it might from a practical purpose. But certainly Frank Lloyd Wright knows more about how to build buildings than I do. It’s ambitious, and pretty beautiful inside, but it’s just a pinch frustrating. I would hate to be a curator here, although it’s challenges are what could make for some interesting displays.
Back outside the museum, where the King of Pentacles decides to show up again. I don’t think it’s the card for me, but there it is.
I love the colors in both the wall and on the lock and chain. These two colors (although I suppose there’s a lot more than two colors here) are ones that you will not often find out in the real world. These colors are beautiful and go very well together. And here they are at the end of a subway. A makeshift setup in which I don’t think the colors were even intentionally chosen.
And some more of Times Square.
Black and white looks good too.
And then back again on another day. I’m starting to shoot this place too much. This is on the walk up Broadway, maybe around 39th if I’m to guess.
I kind of like the mix of yellows in this picture.
And a storefront that I kind of like.
Also was able to make it out to Coney Island. It was a rainy day but it made for some pretty good pictures. I also want to swing back here when the weather is nice and it’s the summer. I thought it would be a lot similar to Asbury, but it’s kind of more similar to Seaside Park.
I didn’t stroll around too much off the boardwalk, but a block or two inward seems a bit sketch. I don’t know if it was just the dreary day but there was trash everywhere. Weeds that were taller than me. Buildings crumbling. Cop cars nonstop patrolling. Housing prices seem fairly pricy from what I can tell, but that might just be because land is so limited out this way. I guess it’s just a microcosm of everything else. Everything is shiny in season when the sun is out and life is good. But there’s a lot more going on.
The white color of the sky is a lot more interesting than if this was the boring clear sky blue.
They were cleaning up the boardwalk of some tables.
The old Parachute Jump. Aka the Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn.
A different view of it.
This is probably one of my favorite pictures of the group. It’s almost nauseatingly minimal and perhaps a bit Wes Andersonesque. The wind helped straighten the flag out just right. The red color is a gorgeous contrast for the muted greys, blues, and sands. I’m going to pretend the focus being on the beach is intentional. Having the flag be in the background of the image while at the same time being the obvious focal point is a kind of brilliant concept, but honestly I missed the focus. I don’t really know how I did outside of being lazy and putting too much faith in the camera, which normally is smart with its focus. I kind of prefer the picture better this way. The slight imperfections that we must learn to live with. I also love the desolation. The yearning. The desire for more. The simple beauty. How well a centered subject works here, when you’re taught to always put things on the thirds. No. I’m not doing that. I’m putting it right in the middle. The red catches your eye perfectly at where the edge of the world is. Look here. Look at me. Look at the vast emptiness. Except you don’t have to do that. Just look at me instead. Everything will be alright. We don’t have to contemplate the vastness right now.
I also like this next picture as well. It would be much worse with a blue sky and probably any more people. I love the whiteness of this. I love the dark contrast of the colors of everyone’s clothes. The almost annoying alteration of the lamp posts. I also maybe like the slight annoyance of me not lining this shot up. I feel like I’ve been so lazy with some of the little things with the camera. The lines the boardwalk makes should be a little more centered. But for now it’s an imperfection that I will learn to love. This picture reminds me of a similar looking one that I shot in Bali where the top and bottom thirds are whitespace, and the contrasting darker colors fill the middle third. It’s interesting how different the conditions where under which that was shot, but I’m curious if I can find more of these and put together a series of them.
More Coney Island.
This is why I thought Coney Island and Asbury were a bit similar. But really maybe it’s only in some of the older marketing.
I kind of like the background colors here.
Someone was braving the rain and wind to spend time reading.
And that’s about it. I’ve been jamming a lot of pictures lately and I don’t really think that will slow down too much.
Been busy messing around building software at my new gig for Viacom. It’s been fun so far. Working out of the middle of Times Square has been pretty trippy, but hopefully soon I’ll find some time to do some touristy things.
Prior to that I was messing around with my camera and have I some pictures burning a hole in my hard drive.
These pictures cover a variety of topics and it kind of bothers me that there is no real correlation. But I just want to get them up here.
Spent some time making pierogies for the first time with my sisters and my grams.
Fallen leaves and winter slush.
Swung through MoMA PS1. MoMA PS1 is a decent museum. For those who don’t know, it’s a different museum than the MoMA out on 53rd. One of the big differences is MoMA PS1 is a collection of solely contemporary art.
Here’s a shot of the basement.
James Turrell’s Meeting is an awesome space. It’s a room that has wooden seats set against the wall. You sit down and slightly recline to give yourself a view of the ceiling. The ceiling is an open rectangle which reveals the open sky. The walls and ceiling are lit up in changing colors. The changing colors make the sky look a different color. Sometimes the sky looks bright blue or dark purple or green. The room beautifully incorporates the sounds of the city and the sky to give you a gorgeous sound that couldn’t be created in any other way.
Cathy Wilkes has some great pieces. My favorite was this one.
I also swung through the New Museum but it was in between exhibits. There was one floor open and it was kind of a waste of time. I’ll check it out again at some point.
Swinging home through the World Trade reveals some beautiful architecture.
There’s definitely a series of shots out there related to pictures like the next one. I just don’t think I’m interested in taking them. This next picture is maybe one of the best I’ve taken. There’s a lot of things you can push with a picture like this, but perhaps I’ll present it here to you and allow you to use your mind and think about what it does or doesn’t mean.
I really love The Oculus. It might be my favorite piece of architecture.
It’s just beautiful.
Swung through the Whitney. There were some nice things on display. It was cool to see some older protest/struggle type pieces and how relevant they are to the current time.
William Copley’s painting was a protest to the Vietnam War in 1967. It might be 50 years later but not thinking is still a good option. It’s free and usually beneficial. I think this would make for a reasonable flag if we were to give the old design a reboot. Copley’s red, white, and blue variations might even be more beautiful.
And what is life if it doesn’t contain some time spent in Asbury Park?
It’s pretty much full swing gentrification.
The last time I was down here I was drinking cocktails priced equally with those in Manhattan, talking about gentrification and what options there were for doing it in a way that allowed everyone to enjoy massive infusion of wealth.
The answers to most complicated problems involve community and sacrifice. And at this time most individuals are not willing to embrace people with differences or give away portions of their current wealth away to create a fair solution.
Some stuff, like the murals (affluent approved graffiti), the boardwalk, and the ocean views remain free.
New Year’s is a time to both reflect on the past and look forward to the future.
Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking about photography.
Initially it started with a desire to pick up some new gear.
After looking around I decided I wanted a mirrorless camera. The size and weight savings is important to me compared to the older DSLR technologies. The picture quality is just as good in most situations.
Surprisingly the leader in the mirrorless space is not Cannon or Nikon. It’s Sony. Cannon and Nikon fell asleep (they were arrogant and clueless) and Sony took over the market. I have no doubt that Cannon and Nikon will eventually make good mirrorless cameras, and people will stick around to support them because of the brand names and the amount of lenses available, but at the moment I am not buying any mirrorless bodies from them.
I initially thought I would want a full frame sensor. Bigger sensors generally lead to better pictures. But I decided to go with an APS-C sensor as in my opinion the difference between full frame and APS-C is negligible and the cost is significant.
If I want a bigger sensor I think the right move would be to go up to the medium format, but that’s not something I’m interested in at the moment from a creative perspective.
In the end you can talk about gear and specs forever, but it’s a lot more important to make a decision and get out to shooting.
I went back and forth and eventually picked up a Sony a6300 simply because I think it is going to allow me to take better pictures than any other camera (for myself personally). The lower cost of APS-C lenses and the money saved on the body allow me to pick up a couple lenses like the Sigma 30mm 1.4. I also have the Sony 16-50 kit lens and picked up the 55-210.
Almost everyone hates cheap kit lenses, but they are pretty versatile and useful. I shot many of the pictures on this site with my Pentax kit lens. That lens and the K-30 camera (which people also make fun of) taught me the basics of photography and allowed me to learn and grab some good shots.
Blah blah blah.
I debated selling my old gear but I might keep it around. The body won’t sell for much. And I don’t mind having my old zoom lens and macro lens. Both can be used on my current camera with a cheap adapter that I picked up.
I’ll post some pictures from the new gear later on.
But first, I decided to go through all of the older pictures that I took with my old gear.
I wanted to see what I was doing wrong. What I was doing right. What I overlooked. What I could have done better or worse.
I decided to grab some of these older pictures and edit them and present them here.
In my last post I said I took 10,000 pictures. But I was wrong. That number was somewhere over 20,000. Still not a lot, but closer to the amount that it felt like I took.
These pictures have not been included on this site yet. The intention is not to go through and make small changes or edits. But rather to look through all of the old pictures I had with a new mind and see if there was any interesting stuff that I did not previously post.
There were some pretty cool shots that I saw. Most of the more recent stuff is not included because I naturally feel those shots are shot and edited in a satisfactory way.
The first shot is one of the first that I ever took. It needs more room to breathe but I like the mood that the image portrays.
The next is shot from a plane as I was flying into Alaska. It was shot through a window that was overly blue saturated. I dialed that back a bit. I’m not happy with the colors here (it reminds me of the terrible coloring you see on a lot of instagram pictures), but it’s about as good as I can do.
This next picture is one that I messed around with a while ago but was unable to make it work. It’s not as focused as I wanted it to be, but framing it this way allows it to be successful. I’m often torn with whether to make real life scenes that appear in black and white, to make them actually black and white. Usually it leads to a better image, but I think there is a beauty in keeping the natural colors. This image is a color image, although it portrays itself as a black and white.
Here is an interesting shot of some mountains and a glacier.
This next shot has amazing lighting. It was shot out in Colorado.
This next shot isn’t all that great. It’s of some steps shot out in Rome. It’s just ok.
These next two images are actually really cool looking. I was messing around with ISOs shooting a couple longer exposures one night out amongst the vineyards in Italy. The sun set late so you have this effect of a sunset and a starry night sky. The dandelions in the first picture give the grass a yellow color.
Surprised I missed these, but maybe I thought they were too similar to other pictures I posted.
This next picture is one from Casa Batllo out in Barcelona. I could see myself shooting something like this again current day.
This next shot is a mistake. But I really like it a lot. It looks pretty cool visually. But the cool part is that it’s a picture of the Eiffel Tower. It is common to see the typical pictures of the Eiffel Tower. But if someone showed me this picture I would like it. It’s not a common view of the Eiffel Tower. And I think maybe it’s more interesting than most pictures of it.
Here’s a picture of the Alps out in Switzerland. These things really just shoot themselves.
Redwoods out in Redwood National and State Parks.
A couple pictures from out in Chicago.
Should have posted at least one of these but never did for some reason.
And one from Milwaukee.
I took this out in Cambodia at Angkor Wat waiting for a lady to take a picture. She was taking forever to take her picture. I snapped an image of her out of frustration. To be honest it looked a lot better with her in the picture than with her out of it.
A shot out in Halong Bay in Vietnam of a cruise ship at night. I like to sometimes mess around with moving the camera during longer exposures although sometimes it’s looks cheesy or terrible.
Pancake Rocks out in New Zealand. It’s maybe my best picture of them although at first look through these pictures I didn’t think I really captured it.
And that’s about it. Those are a bunch of pictures from the past that I had initially overlooked. I think some of them came out rather well.
I noticed some patterns with some of the pictures that I had taken. I overexpose in bright light. I take a lot of pictures of oysters.
Overall it’s been a fun ride with my first DSLR. I’m excited for my time with the mirrorless to start. I’ve been messing around taking some pictures. The small size and weight means it’s been on me pretty much every day since I bought it.
Here’s some duck breast I cooked up. Was my first time cooking it and it was amazing. Also duck fat fried potatoes are a delicious side.
Here’s a box of white sage.
This next pic is a shot I shot messing around with connecting the camera to my phone. You can control the camera via your phone with an app. So for this picture I placed the camera down and activated the shutter with my phone. From there the photo is sent via Wi-Fi to my phone. I then edited my image on my phone with Adobe Lightroom. It’s not the best picture (it was probably 4 in the morning when I took this), but that is a very powerful workflow for someone if they have a need to quickly take, edit, and post their pictures to the internet.
And this final picture is a reason why I’m keeping my Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens.
So that’s it. Hopefully everyone is spending a bit of time reflecting on their pasts and looking forward to the future.
I hope every has had a great year and has an even better one coming up.