Posts Tagged ‘Kodak Tri-X’

Being in New York Part 3

I’ve been stuck at this turnstile for some time, but it’s finally time to pass through. Back in New York, this was the familiar sight to the end of each night as I left the metro. And for the longest time it’s been the familiar sight every time I load up Lightroom and remember the mess of files that I needed to organize in order to continue with this blog. Some things happened. I lost my job after I got back from my trip, and then I found a new job but throughout that experience I never fully gained back the motivation and energy to focus on my photographs.

And then I started receiving some spam from a venue in Brooklyn that I went to while I was there and I started to miss NY a lot. So for you and I, here’s a further taste.

One thing I loved about this hotel was the open access to the roof which had a beautiful view of the city in each direction. A great place to unwind after the long days of ‘vacationing.’ In a place like New York you’re trying to do everything you can each day.

On Tuesday morning I ate my breakfast from this window while I watched the day in progress.

Plans for today were a) to meet a contact from craigslist to purchase some of these things. I’d been watching out for more of these things for years since Kevin gave me one of the two that he found on eBay back in the day. So while I was in New York I somehow fluked out and came across a craigslist ad for them by mistake. His name was Frank. Filmcase Frank to be exact. And for $10 I had 2 more x-ray proof cases to protect my films on the way back home. So I bought more film. And b) Museum of Natural History. c) Perhaps spend some time in Central Park.

It seemed ridiculous to photograph fake animals but they were too photogenic to ignore, really.

Action shot.

He was a nice man.

MoNH was amazing but I don’t see how it’s possible to see or absorb everything there in one day.

We strolled through the park a bit after the museum. She’s trying to lean out of the frame on the right.

There was a photographer behind me shooting a Hasselblad who captured me capturing this. I tried to search the net for it afterwards but never came up with anything. I bet his blog is way behind too.

Some folks were helping children make giant soap bubbles. I really enjoyed observing their amazement.

Some creative aerobics in the park. One thing I missed photographing was the incredible number of people exercising in Central Park. The roads in there are dominated by joggers but I never felt like there was a good shot to make for some reason.

I was pretty tired that day, so I went back to the hotel and rested for a bit while my travel mate Randy went out for dinner.

I brought my ipod up to the roof.

Eventually I left and I wandered around Manhattan for the rest of the night.I secured some pizza to eat and eventually I found myself in Washington Square near the university.

There were a lot of people there to enjoy the fountain which seemed like a decent idea.

They were talking to each other.

I found a bench to sit at and then I read for a while. Gravity’s Rainbow.

Came across this scene on St. Marks. As a victim of bedbugs what I find most disturbing about this display is that they actually managed to depict an artistic yet convincing bed bug. And yeah, so I guess I don’t want to think about that anymore.

Nice marmot.

Well thanks for coming back to my blog. I bet you never thought that would happen. In the next update, I’ll take you to MOMA. And maybe if I remember what ISO I shot all my film at since the summer I’ll develop and scan more images.

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Being in New York Part 2

After the patio lounging episode on Sunday we made our way back to Manhattan and brought ourselves to 30 Rockefeller Plaza, Top of the Rock.

Now that you’re looking at this web page I think that you deserve advanced notice. In this entry I will visit the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island. I arted the shit out of that place. Just so you’re aware… just so when it happens you won’t be able to say you were not warned. There’s some serious art up ahead. It is not the standard product I push, but trust me when I say that you’ll be back for more.

Weather was great. Still hot and humid, but smoggy.

Switched to some 125px.

Sure why not.

70 stories above New York. To the north you can see most of Central Park. To the south is the Empire State Building and further south is downtown and the financial district.

Back on the ground I got more interested in what I had been on top of.

We’d spent a long time up there and become hungry again so we went searching for a good place to eat. Passed up the M&M store…

125px was starting to get a bit slow.

How about that?

After wandering in circles for ever we managed to find a Thai restaurant that was cheap and delicious. Then we wandered back towards the Times Square area to take in the beauty.

When I saw these guys pull up to the light I was thinking I might have a great photo in front of me so I bent my elbows and waited for something interesting on the massive screen across the street. It seemed totally irrelevant, even ugly, and discouragingly I lowered my camera. At the same moment they all noticed me and got excited. Click. There’s no evidence on the negative that the girl was wearing anything at all on her feet. Interesting choice.

That was at Starbucks.

Such is the value of space.

On Monday morning my first stop was at the post office to send some post cards home.

Monday was forecast as being dodgy weather wise. A bit of a storm passed through in the morning but it cleared up quickly and so we decided to head for Liberty/Ellis island in hopes that it would be a little less busy that day.

When I got to Battery Park, that was happening.

I guess that’s something horrific meant to inspire hatred of unknowable foreign enemies and encourage a patriotic support for war. The Statue of Liberty on the far left and Ellis Island mid-frame.

What I wanted to capture was the degree that the boat suddenly leaned the moment we were within proximity of the statue as everyone rushed to that side of the boat. But I couldn’t seem to get a good frame of it at the time.


That’s totally what it looks like when you put the sun behind her torch.

Here is the icon of freedom in America, complete with black helicopter.

A group of boy scouts pass through the Registry room at Ellis Island. Between 1892 and 1954 twelve million immigrants were processed at Ellis Island. Most of them passed through this room.

Off to the side of that room was a room of tiny bunks where children slept. The room seemed creepy and rather claustrophobic. The bunks are smaller and tighter than they look here. I thought of how scary it might have been to spend nights there as a child in a foreign place, but for many it must have been such a comfort compared to the journey that lead them here.

For some reason the crank to operate the windows was fascinating.

That was a long day out in the heat of the sun through the queue to the ferries, the ferries and the islands. We went to do some more shopping on Broadway that evening and then found a place to have some greasy food. I had a bacon cheeseburger and Randy enjoyed a Reuben while we listened in to a conversation between the waiter and this fat kid who was sitting at the bar with his dad. The kid’s like “ey! Amigo! How about that chocolate deep fudge cake and I want a raspberry sauce on the side.” I almost spat out my beer and I’m like Randy did you hear that?

When we paid our bill and walked past to exit, father was asking him how he liked that dessert with the raspberry sauce and encouraging him to finish all that, and in a fabulous New York accent that I hadn’t heard too much of. Priceless experience.

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Posted in Inconsequent, photos 7 Comments »

Being in New York

Hello and welcome back to my blog. At some point while I was composing this post, the first of my New York entries, my thoughts began to obsess over the way my photographs are presented here. I came to the conclusion that thumbnails are for the faint of heart (or the disinterested) which I never meant to endorse. I’ve now put 900px images right on the front page and offloaded the workout for any thumbnail clickers on to the tubes of the internet.

Last we heard, our heroes were wrapping up a successful project in Washington, DC. Well, on Friday morning, Randy and I trekked over to Washington’s Union Station and hopped the Amtrak to New York.

Passing through Philadelphia.

I expected that deboarding the train at Penn Station in New York would be a unique experience, but what I didn’t expect was the claustrophobia (which I’m fortunately not very sensitive to) and bustle through tight sooty corridors and ceilings lower than I ever would have thought. I’d never felt like such an ant. Then we came up outside Madison Square Gardens and I knew I really was an insect here. We got our bearing then and dove back down into the Metro to reach the hotel.

Resurfacing at Lexington and 53.

The urge to start making photos won despite having arms full of bags so I just made a one handed shot as I walked.

But the hotel was just around the corner.

They seemed to have a decent presence of lighting and mirrors, so I got that out of my system.

We had a little rest and then made our way for Brooklyn where we had tickets to see some music at the Knitting Factory that night.

Just outside the venue.

Then I satisfied an important lifetime goal by seeing Elysian Fields play. I’d never thought I’d see them play live at all never mind be introduced to New York by one of my favourite bands.

On the train back to Manhattan.

That shot wasn’t a matter of timing. They were just slumped that way for the whole ride.

Morning at the hotel.

As we walked the streets of New York we played a game of adding up theoretical traffic tickets for honking. Can’t say I ever saw anyone being written up. New York is a city of criminals though, I can tell you that much.

We decided to visit the cathedral of St. John the Divine early on. Outside there was some creative sculpting to be found.

Oh, I was also going to mention that this roll of colour is a long expired roll of Afga Optima 100 that I’ve had for a while. I found the colours fussy to edit. Some parts of the roll is worse than others… a bit green, which I tried to compensate for but got bored of since it was preventing me from posting this entry.

I had heard through a friend that on Saturdays the cathedral offered tours through the hidden passages of the structure and up upon the roof and this was the main appeal to us. But as it turned out we missed the tour that day, so we bought tickets for the following week. More on that later, I guess.

Whether you are a political or religious speaker, it’s good to have figures like these to stand behind so as to freak the fuck out of your audience.

“Ground Zero.”

In New York, there’s Dunkin’ Donuts everywhere. I thought it was hilarious just for how random it was. I mean, Dunkin’ Donuts? Who knew? I guess I’d never seen that in any other city and I didn’t expect it. I started to think of it as Tim’s and it made more sense.

We spent that evening doing some shopping and eventually I switched that roll out for some trix.

Came across this scene while scoping out the area around the hotel that night.

Although DC was hotter, the situation in the NY Metro was different altogether. Hot. stale sooty air. All you can do is stand in the oven and wait for the for the next rolling refrigerator.

One morning in Brooklyn.

Having brunch with some friendly folks that we met at the Knitting Factory and their friends.

They took us to a place called Lodge which had some antler shaped chandeliers. They served water to the table inside old wine bottles. It helped me to feel like a classy, trendy person.

There was a lineup waiting for tables there, so we decided to be polite and do our lounging at some cafe which meant walking across the street.

This guy had walked past in the other direction only a few minutes before and he was quite popular with our table so when we saw him coming back we were ready for it.

Then this guy walked past with a kid on a dolly drinking a Coke! I thought that was hilarious, and far more entertaining than the long haired balding dude, but my enthusiasm was not shared.

Stopping here doesn’t seem like a bad idea. At this rate I’ll probably have two more New York entries.

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District of Columbia

First night in Washington. It was midnight by the time we were settled and found a meal, but having a hotel a few blocks from the White House made it too easy to wander.

Around the corner, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building was almost completely covered in scaffolding.

Coming from Canada I was initially startled by scenes like this chest thumping American patriotism (even amongst renovations) which seemed to imitate Nazi aesthetic. I don’t know if it is just because I am foreign, but the American flag and accompanying styling impress upon me none of the comfort that I imagine is intended. As a visitor, these displays served mostly as dramatic and frequent reminders that I am personally conflicted over what America represents in the world today.

Nevertheless, I was there to work and do my part in Ameruhkee. At the conference center things were still quiet apart from the impressive security presence. I was there a few days early for setup.

Since we had no internet access yet in the room in which we were meant to work, the only option was to walk out into the common areas for wifi. Checkin’ da e-mail.

Andrew standing in front of the racks where I did most of my work.

I thought I’d get this shot and then another when it was full of people, but I later learned that full of people made me not so inspired.

We arrived on the east coast in to a record breaking heat wave. Forecast: “Highs of 38 °C. Feels like: 42 °C.” Awesome.

In the crew meal room I went in to decisive moment capturing mode.

Since it was so amazing to me I had to go back to see that building again.

But this time continued on to the National WWII Memorial as the evening began to set in. It sits at the other end of the reflecting pool, opposite the Lincoln Memorial.

Lincoln Memorial in the background. Shooting 1/4 s by that point.

Fortunately, they keep ol’ Abe pretty well lit.

I had to switch angles after I began to appreciate how dominant his hands and feet were.

Sitting out on the steps infront of Abe looking across the reflecting pool.

After some long days at work we finally found an opportunity to head to the Smithsonian.

A glimpse of the DC metro. Which was interesting to be inside after playing Fallout 3.

Right here we’re riding what was perhaps the most incredible escalator I’ve ever ridden. At first I actually thought there was a performance going on up ahead outside, some kind of drunk saxophonist, then I realized that no; it was actually the escalator, moaning, wheezing and grinding its way around and around. That’s at the Archives station, by the way, in case they still haven’t fixed it.

Also, you can find the shot from the other side a couple images down over on this internet web site.

With so many options and not enough time our group split in two, half heading to the National Museum of Natural History and half to the Air and Space Museum.

Crossing the park in front of the Capitol. If you’re keen you’ll find the ball.

That was right outside the McDonald’s built in to the side of the Smithsonian. They might actually use that to drive hamburger buns around.

Once inside I hung out with my buddy in the space station. I really didn’t end up making much photography there because our time was limited and I wanted to read and look at things while I had the chance.

For some reason I kept thinking of Reporter in Generation Kill, and then my buddy JJ walked up and said the same fuckin thing.

The Soviet half of the Apollo-Suyuz Test Project. A recreation of it anyway.

The Hubble Test Telescope.

JJ in front of the SS-20 and Pershing-II nuclear missiles.

We had dinner at a secret destination one evening. It was a long, mysterious drive and when we got there the tables were sticky, but the food was alright. The deep-fried dill pickles were interesting.

Riding on a bus to some place called the Newseum where there was a party that night.  I saw that on the way.

Then I saw this which I rushed to get since the bus was unloading. But I didn’t notice those fellas entering the frame.

Newseum turned out to be very interesting and I ended up mostly ignoring the party and wandering the exhibits which were almost empty due to the private function. It is basically a museum dedicated to journalism and they have some fascinating displays including the largest section of the Berlin Wall to be found outside of Germany. Nearby there is also a three-story East German guard tower that once stood near Checkpoint Charlie. All very humbling to stand amongst, even so displaced of context.

I was going to make a photo of another section and then these guys stood there.

This is the Journalists Memorial. Here are honored the names of over 2000 reporters, photographers, and broadcasters whose lives have been lost while at work.

Once out of the party we jumped on a bicycle taxi that gave us a tour through more of the city. I hadn’t been to the Jefferson Memorial yet, but I also hadn’t been to the bathroom in a while so I took the opportunity to pee in some of his nice bushes.

Him again.

The WWII Memorial at night.

I made this photo mostly because it resonated perfectly with almost everything I had seen so far in DC. The dedication made to remembrance is stronger in this place anywhere else I’ve been. Sometimes I thought that it was difficult to judge whether this imposition of self-importance was legitimate or just dramatic. But mostly it was awe inspiring because where I come from our ancestors are not celebrated with such extravagance.

The last night of the conference, and one more party.

Some sort of art.

Our last night in DC. My team got together and went out for some drinks. The next day we were splitting up for different destinations.

And that was DC. Next stop, New York.

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