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Posts tagged ‘New York’

Metropolis gone by…

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When I was a child, I often played pretend. An only child until the age of 11, I spent a fair amount of time simply wandering in my own imagination. Perhaps this forged the basis of a life of creativity, who knows? But one thing is certain–I still tap into this side of my brain with regular frequency. The image above was born out of this type of exercise, when I was in New York several months ago. I’d certainly seen the iconic Chrysler Building for many years, and marveled at its unique brand of metropolitan architecture, its needle tip piercing the sky. But until recently, I’d never actually stepped inside. When I did, I was instantly transported back to an earlier era. It was almost magical, really. I literally could hear the click of heels, elevator bells, and the bustle of what must have felt like the center of urbane modernity, back in its heyday. While the exterior of this building has captured much acclaim, the attention to detail on the interior is astounding by today’s standards. The beautiful marble, glass, and iron work that were the hallmark of the Art Deco period are still gracefully intact some 80-plus years later.

Given the maelstrom of sound and movement just a few feet outside on Lexington Avenue, a block away from New York’s Grand Central Station, it was amazingly quiet during the few moments I spent standing in the Chrysler’s cavernous lobby, framing different distinct images with my camera. I enjoyed just experiencing “the moment”–watching business people come and go, the elevators dinging and opening as they have for so many decades, and the quiet work of the window washer, maintaining the dignity of an architectural monument clearly deserving as much. These images tell a story for me; I hope they do for you as well…

 

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Waiting…

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Here is another, quieter view of one of the world’s busiest places, Grand Central Station, New York. If you look long enough, you also see the quiet, among the chaos. Hope you enjoy…

 

 

Leading lines …

No matter how many times I visit the city, especially midtown Manhattan, I never tire of the visual wonderment offered by those sweeping big buildings. Yes, I know I risk looking like a hack tourist, but … who cares? They are truly awe inspiring and I am not afraid to just stand there and take it in. The experience doesn’t quite match to the near spiritual state of drinking in a natural wonder (think Niagara, Grand Canyon, or even a beautiful tree at sunset) but staring up at skyscrapers is facinating, all the same. In this image, I was struck by the convergence of leading lines… which were apparent in the original color version, but which I pulled out to an extreme degree in post processing. I like the effect, as it seems to draw the eye straight up to the clouds above. I am pretty sure, it’s exactly what the building architects had in mind all along. Hope you enjoy…

New York noir…

 

Sometimes you work with a seemingly ordinary image for a while and, though it’s hard to put into words, it slowly takes on new layers of meaning, and starts to communicate something  you can’t necessarily articulate. This is one of those examples. It may not appeal to everyone, but once I began playing with the shadows and the framing, the play of dark against light, all of a sudden it began to convey an essence of film noir, harkening back to the gilded age, the New York of old; one in which art deco was prolific, jazz was cool (it still is), and metropolitan shoppers flocked to Macy’s as the end-all be-all.

Just for fun, I am including a second image below, to give a better sense of scale to the scene. But I keep returning to the scene above, where dark, moody branches outline a Gothamesque landscape,  evoking the New York of days gone by. Hope you enjoy…

Clash of titans …

 

Great architecture and city sculptures are interesting subjects to photograph, but are sometimes difficult to photograph uniquely. You can pretty well assume that thousands have stood in the same spot as you, so rather than dwell on that, you end up simply finding the view that speaks to you, personally. I’ve seen this wonderful stature of Atlas, in Midtown Manhattan many times, but it was when we walked out the east doors of Rockefeller Center last week that I was struck by this framing of Atlas with the magnificent St. Patrick’s Cathedral as a backdrop. It’s not so much that it is a juxtaposition of new and old, although one embodies the delightful Art Deco style of 1930s New York, and the other is clearly a beautiful example of a nineteenth century Gothic cathedral. Rather what struck me was the symbolism of each  structure: one sacred and religious; one equally divine, yet secular. Iconic titans, staring each other down for the ages. Hope you enjoy…