PARIS – Some days are better than others in my photo-a-day world. I’m visiting my sister-in-law and her husband, who have a flat in Neuilly-sur-Seine which is technically a suburb of Paris but is closer to central Paris than much of Paris. Our edgier friends accuse it of being serious and bourgeois, much like the upper east side where we live in Manhattan (i’m developing complex about this). Anyway we spent the day exploring on foot, mostly in the neighboring Bois de Boulogne, the gigantic park located on the edge of Paris. Today’s photos are from a garden within a garden, the Bagatelle. All shot with my Leica Monochrom and 50mm Summicron Asph. lens.
Francesca and Bob:
Francesca and Bob
On this day one year ago: Doug and Judy’s House.
Doug and Judy’s House
NEW YORK NEW YORK – There’s an unfriendly and disused public plaza on 57th Street between Madison and Park Avenue. Why do some of these work and others not?
Taken with my Fuji X100s.
On this day last year: Basil shakes it off. Another violation of my “no cute dogs” rule. This is actually my ninth shot of Basil since I started this project roughly 1,400 days ago. Nine violations is a lot; if the DMV were in charge of this blog I would loose my license to photograph. On the other hand it’s an error rate of well less than one percent, which I guess I can live with.
Basil shakes it off
SANTA MONICA CALIFORNIA – Another day of bicycling. For most of the day it was partially cloudy with a high unattractive sky but later in the day it cleared so I got some ok images in the park in front of our hotel. Taken with my Leica Monochrom.
On this day last year: Good light. Field and tree line from Warren.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I took a walk across Central Park today on a route that took me north of the Reservoir. I stumbled across a lovely cast iron Art Noeveau bridge that I either didn’t know about or had forgotten. Here it is captured with my Leica Monocrom and an 18mm Super Elmar lens.
An image from the Reservoir, heavily fixed up with software perspective controls – the high bright sky makes this look like a vintage image on orthochromatic film.
Self portrait. I posted this on an online forum (where I somethimes test-drive images); it was pointed out that my fly was open; I edited the problem out in Photoshop.
On this day last year: The Bull and Bear.
The Bull and Bear
NEW YORK NEW YORK – I went today with a tripod and my large Alpa, the Alpa Max, to explore Riverside Park and the George Washington Bridge. My start was delayed by personal errand – by the time I got into things the golden light was gone and the light was rathe uninteresting. I’ve posted some examples anyway.
George Washington Bridge
On this day one year ago: Lipstick.
SHANGHAI – We have mostly finished our meetings so we spent part of the day as tourists. We went to the Shanghai Museem – Maria and I had been here in April. The collection is good but a little disappointing given Shanghai’s stature. In April we photographed the stairwell – it was the second photograph in my post for April 19. Here’s a link – scroll down to the second photo. stairway in Shanghai Museum. I shot the stairway again, this time a close up of the dragon-motifed banister.
I got bored with the Museum so I took a walk in the neighboring People’s Square. There were young couples with a single child everywhere, a result of China’s one child policy. The Chinese say that single children have six parents (including four grandparents) so they are seriously doted-upon. See the image below.
Finally the Shanghai municipal government’s building is located on the People’s Square. it was finished in the 1990s. It is clearly meant to be imposing but only succeeds at being tedious – typical of civic architecture everywhere in the world.
All images taken with my Panasonic GH2 and 1 14-140mm zoom lens.
One Child Policy
On this day last year: East 51st Street.
East 51st Street
HONG KONG – A long day of meetings. I managed a walk in the park in front of the Mandarin with my Panasonic GH2.
My personal workout includes a stretching and flexibility routine that draws on elements of yoga, dance and sports stuff but I could work full time for the next 10 years at it and I wouldn’t achieve the level of discipline that this woman has.
On this day last year: Tight crop on large lips in the East Village.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Another rainy afternoon exploration of Carl Schurz Park, on the East River near Gracie Mansion, the Mayor’s official residence. I am again working with my Alpa technical camera, a 35mm Scheider Digitar lens and my 60 meg Hasselblad digital back. The overcast sky was quite bright – not the best conditions for a guy who is essentially a landscape photographer.
On this day last year: RFK Bridge.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – I’m experimenting with equipment again. This time with a 72mm Schneider Digitar on my Alpa TC. I’ve been shooting primarily with a 35mm Schneider with the camera. 72mm is the “normal” focal length for this camera. The question is whether it’s possible to hand hold this combination – the longer focal length requires shorter shutter speeds and the 60 meg digital back needs a lot of light and punishes minor errors in technique.
I took a walk on the High Line and things worked out very well. I brought back a dozen or so keepers and very few technical disasters. Here’s a view from the High Line:
From the High Line
On this day one year ago; East Village.
BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS – I managed a quick walk in the rain in downtown Boston before being sucked into daylong meetings. I captured this in the small park across from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. It’s an Allium Giganteum, an ornamental onion. I recognized it because we have a lot of them in Warren – because of the savage winters the palette for perennial gardens is fairly limited.
On this day one year ago: Lipstick Building.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – I had a productive day walking from my office to our apartment via Central Park, so I’m posting multiple images; all taken with my Leica M9. Here is a sunbather on Sherman’s statue in the Plaza taken with my Leica and a 90mm lens.
General Sharman's statue in the Grand Army Plaza
The Metropolitan Club. Founded by JP Morgan for his steel baron clients who couldn’t get into the Union Club. Captures with my Leica and a 90mm lens.
The Metropolitan Club
A lazy summer afternoon shot in Central Park with my Leica and a 90mm lens.
A lazy summer afternoon
Finally, the Metropolitan Museum. Three frames stitched shot with my Leica and a 35mm Summilux lens.
On this day last year: Party at Gus’s.
NEW YORK NEW YORK – A very gray day here. I took my Leica and a few lenses out to capture something moody. Carl Schurz Park lent itself to to these explorations – it has a Victorian feel and is magnificently sited on the East River. For some reason, though I wasn’t in the moment and wasn’t really seeing. Here’s the image that I went out to capture – I liked the curving steps, the barren tree, the background and the very subdued light, but the picture is ruined because of the overlap of the light post and the tree. There juxtaposition creates a real compositional problem, probably solvable by taking a step or two to the right or left. Oh well . . . .
Carl Schurz Park
On this day last year: Salton Sea sunset.
This was the first evening of our Salton Sea explorations last year.
Salton Sea sunset
NEW YORK NEW YORK – We went for a walk to Union Square where we did some shopping in the farmer’s market for meals over the weekend. A pedestrian image, captured with my Alpa TC, which demonstrates once again that great gear doesn’t guarantee great images. This is in contrast to the image from one year ago.
On this day one year ago: Vietnam Memorial. For me the most emotional image since I started this project. I was in Vietnam in the Marine Corps. Of my Basic School class of 317 Second Lieutenants I know of no one who finished a 13 month tour of duty – almost everyone was killed, seriously wounded or sent home after their third Purple Heart. Karl Marlantes’s novel Matterhorn captures the experience brilliantly – I highly recommend it. Many friends of mine are listed on this wall. Visiting it is almost unbearable. I’ve reproduced the picture at full web size.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK – I spent the afternoon today at Brooklyn Bridge Park – a park under construction that’s transforming the Brooklyn waterfront. There was a lot of stuff to photograph. Really. Some tourist shots – the view of lower Manhattan is incomparable; some construction; some people. I’ve had real difficulty sorting it all out so I’m posting a bunch of images. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia entry on the park: Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The Manhattan Bridge seen under the Brooklyn Bridge.
Leica M9 with 135mm APO Telyt lens.
South Street Seaport.
South Street Seaport from Brooklyn Bridge Park
Same camera and lens.
Brooklyn Bridge Park – tidal pool
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Same camera and lens.
LONDON, ENGLAND – I had a chance to take a walk in Hyde Park before leaving for the airport for the flight home. This specimen tree was photographed at about 8:30 local time, an hour and a half past sunrise. The image is stitched from 15 separate frames, all shot with my Leica M9 and the same 30-year-old lens referred to in yesterday’s post. I’ve included a 1:1 crop to give an idea of the detail that can be captured with this technique. Stitching was done in Photoshop.
Hyde Park Crop
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Had lunch with an old friend at Savoy on Prince Street. Here’s a link: Savoy. We had heard that Savoy has a fabulous burger, which turned out to be true. The patty was perfect aged, grass fed beef, not overworked; the brioche bun was just right; it was cooked to perfection. After lunch I spent an hour in Washington Square exploring some of the same themes that I explored in Ecuador.
Leica M9 with 28mm Summicron lens.