Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday

Laura Not only does no one in my family shop on Thanksgiving - but none of us do any real shopping on Black Friday either - I guess we're a bunch of weirdos who would rather spend quality time together than save a few bucks on Chinese-made-plastic-junk. I believe my cousin Jeff started our family tradition of going to the West Side Market on Friday then heading to one of the local breweries for lunch(unfortunately Jeff couldn't make it this year). We used to grab a Christmas Ale at Great Lakes but its too crowded now - especially with the nieces and nephews in tow - so instead we grabbed food and some drinks at Market Garden Brewery. This year we also had a few at the Townhall - a newish bar/restaurant that had a great draft list, really good service, and pretty cool decor. We also checked out a glass blowing demonstration at the Glass Bubble Project and ended with a snowball fight behind the West Side Market...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Football

Thanksgiving Football I've been playing football on Thanksgiving morning with the Milo Brothers(and whoever else we can round up) for as long as I can remember. Today's game was a cold and snowy one - the first one of those in a long time. I always look forward to the game - but not to the three days of soreness that follow...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It Snowed Today

...and it is supposed to snow tonight - the humanity! Christmas Tree Farm I'm working on a house right now in a picturesque, semi-rural area of Kent. The property on one side is a tree farm  - they just put up a sign for live Christmas Trees. I lug a couple cameras with me to work everyday -  they came in handy today...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Old Timey New York

Old New York One morning in New York I woke up early and headed out to move our car because it was trash day where it was parked. We were staying in Chinatown and I had about a 20 minute walk to the space I had found underneath the Williamsburg Bridge. I know that you never know what you will come upon in NYC but I was taken aback for a minute when I walked down a street and into another century. I started wandering around wondering what the heck was going on - I thought they were having some kind of old timey market until it dawned on me that it must have been for a movie. They were working on covering every bit of modern signage and filling the streets with dirt. I have to say it was really cool - I grabbed my Canon and did my best to capture the contrast between the modern workers and old time back drop. After shooting like this for a while I pulled out my Minolta and shot a roll of Tri-X - some of the shots really look like they are from a hundred years ago. After I finished shooting I found my car and accidentally crossed the bridge and found myself lost in Brooklyn - it was the first time I really wished I had a smart phone - and it turned into such an odyssey that by the time I found my way back the "trash hour" was over an I parked in almost the same spot...
Anyways - later that evening I walked back passed the place where I was shooting in the morning, not a trace of it was there - not even a speck of dirt left on the street...all gone and cleaned like nothing had happened - only in New York...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

New York, New York As many times as I've been to New York City I had never been to the top of the Empire State Building - Laura and I had agreed it was something we both wanted to do this time. We went on the earlier side to beat the crowds - and it worked as we didn't have to wait very long. The price - $27 a piece + an additional $17 a piece to go all the way to the top - had made me a little weary but the second I stepped outside on the 86th floor observation deck I said to Laura, "Oh, they can pretty much charge whatever they want for this". Its worth it - trust me. The views are absolutely amazing - you can see every part of the city - Lower Manhattan and New York Harbor, Brooklyn and Queens and the ocean beyond, Central Park, Harlem and the Bronx , The Hudson from near to trailing off in the distance. You could stand there forever picking out all the different buildings - Chrysler, Rockefeller, Flatiron, 1 World Trade, and the thousands of others in between. You really have to force yourself to slow down and try to take it all in - and not to mention the art deco masterpiece that is the Empire State Building itself. I took all the photos of the expansive views - unfortunately it was cloudy and a little hazy so none of those are too spectacular.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Falling Down Barn Study

Old Barn Study #1 I've been driving by this State Road barn on my way to work for a few weeks now. This morning I finally decided I had to stop and take some photos of it. Now that I have my shots it will stand forever in this state - but if I didn't take these photos it would have fallen down later this week - you know how it goes. I circled the barn two or three times snapping away - all the photos looked pretty cool - it was hard to narrow it down to these few. The caved in side actually gets better light at sunset - maybe I'll shoot some black and film of that on my way home one clear evening...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Manhattan Bridge Morning

New York Graffiti On our last day in NYC I went for a walk across the Manhattan Bridge(our hotel was only a couple minutes walk from the entrance). It was the morning "magic hour" and I shoot a bunch of photos with my Canon 7D. When I got out over the East River the views looking at the Brooklyn Bridge and back over Lower Manhattan were great but not my favorite part. What I really enjoyed were the unique views of Chinatown with the sky scrappers of downtown looming in the background.  New York City is unlike any other place - and there are so many different ways and angles to shoot it.  It could be explored for a lifetime.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Morning Woods

Morning Woods
I didn't get out and shoot very much this weekend - the above photo is a from a hike Friday morning. I have, however, been working on updating the blog to the new format blogger uses. I've made the main body wider so I can show my photos bigger(this may make some of the older post's spacing look a little "off" now), I've added all the "share buttons"(so you can "like, "tweet" or "+1" if you're into that sort of thing), and the archives are better organized. The other changes are mostly behind the scenes type stuff(to make it look like right on mobile devices and things of that nature). A few more changes are coming to the content of the blog as well. The original goal of starting this blog was just to motivate myself to "shoot, edit, post, and write about a photo every single day" to improve my photography. Between shooting lots of film and only wanting to post higher quality work(not just shoot any old thing to have something new) I probably won't post quite as often - 4 or 5 times a week is the plan. Also I want to do a "themed" day or two - like "Throwback Thursday" or something along those lines. Anyways - hopefully my vast readership will be happy with the changes.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First Snow

Snow Trail 4
We now take a break from the regularly scheduled New York City posts to bring you images of the first snow. It came a little early for my tastes but my photography compulsion had me out of bed to "cover" it anyways. The light turned out to be pretty good so I'm glad I went - a nice mix of sun and clouds.  And as much as I don't feel ready for Winter it was nice to shoot familiar landscapes in totally different dressings...

Monday, November 11, 2013

The High Line

Plants and Jersey
The High Line is a park in New York City that has opened in a couple phases over the last few years. It sits on an elevated rail line that was built in the thirties and abandoned in 1980 which runs roughly one mile through Chelsea and the Meat Packing District on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I had followed with interest the Park from its planning stages through the present so I was excited to actually check it out in person. I walked the whole thing from the south to the north as the sun was setting one evening. The park is paved but remnants of the tracks exist and are planted with various shrubs and grasses - I thought it looked really cool in the light and fall color. There are great views of the Hudson River and the surrounding neighborhoods - and there were many like-minded tourists taking photos or taking in the scene.  The park has proved so popular that it is spurring development along its path and a third phase is in planning stages.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Monochrome Morning

East River Fishing "East River Fishing"
On our first morning in New York City I took a walk around Chinatown and then down to the East River. I was up early enough to catch some great light and I shot a whole roll of Kodak Tri-X with my Minolta X-700, two lenses, and red filters. For the last few years I almost always have two cameras with me - my Canon 7D and something with film in it(usually the aforementioned X-700 and Tri-X). It has surprised me lately how much my intuition takes over when I reach into my bag - this morning happened to be a black and white morning - and I knew it without thinking about it. I did grab the 7D once or twice and those colorful photos did nothing for me - I second guessed myself - or needed some kind of "digital reassurance". There are other days when I know to reach for my 7D, and I know exactly how to expose for the later processing I plan to do - I can see the final image before I even look at the camera or computer screen. I've read old interviews with photographers who talk about how different it is "seeing" in black and white compared to color - I guess this is all starting to come together for me.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Staten Island Ferry Ride

Boat in Front of Lighted Lower Manhattan Study #2
When we were preparing to leave for our trip to New York City Laura was reading an article titled '40 Free Things to Do in NYC' or something like that(maybe on Lonely Planet?) - one of them was ride the Staten Island Ferry. I had never even considered doing this as I had never considered visiting Staten Island, but as I thought about the photo opportunities of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Lower Manhattan, and New York Harbor in general I started to become excited about the idea. On a morning when we had walked to see the new World Trade Center(aka 1 World Trade or worse 'The Freedom Tower'*) and the Battery Park area we decided to hop on the ferry and grab lunch on Staten Island. It was smooth sailing and the views did not disappoint. It was a pretty overcast day but the sun broke through at a few times and in the right places(like the above photo were it is shining on Lower Manhattan). If you don't have the time or feel the need to visit the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island(or in our case already had) then there is pretty much no reason not to take this trip.  The Ferries leave each station every half hour.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

Back Home

We've been in New York City all week - here is a brief taste of some of our trip. Lots of posts and photos to follow in the next few days.....
Manhattan Bridge Morning
Manhattan Bridge Morning

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fall Post

Ok, one more fall post before I head out of town for the week(and I assume the leaves will be gone when I get back). There will be no posting for a few days - but tons when I get back! See ya soon...