Friday December 11, 2009

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Today I went to Brooklyn to explore the Brooklyn Bridge from the east.  The Brooklyn Bridge is an icon.  My objective in my icons work is to sneak up on the subject from an unusual angle, approaching it as if it had never been seen before.  This isn’t always successful, but here’s today’s attempt.  This was at mid-day – it would be far more interesting in early morning light.  To be explored further.

Yesterday and today I had a rare moment of self-doubt.  Why am I doing this?  In the end I’m a landscape photographer – some of my work looks architectural because I live (for most of the week) in an urban landscape.  My formal portraits are fine but I don’t seek that work out.  My street work is pedestrian.  I was really struggling last night a Lincoln Center – finally settling on the fountain centered on the Metropolitan Opera.

You’ve heard of Rembrandt and Vermeer and probably Frans Hals.  They painted people (primarily in historical settings) in 17th Century Holland – the “golden era of Dutch painting”.  It’s less likely that you’ve heard of Aelbert Cuyp or Jacob van Ruisdael.  They painted landscape in the same era.  The Wikipedia entry on the golden era says “landscapists were the ‘common Infantry foottmen in the Army of Art'”  citing Samuel van Hoogstraten for the quote.  Citiscapes ranked even lower.

Anyway, here’s today’s view of the Brooklyn Bridge.


Thursday December 10, 2009

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – We went to the opera Thursday evening: The Met’s riveting production oF Richard Stauss’s Elektra.  Susan Bullock had her Met premier singing Elektra, Deborah Voigt broke new ground for herself as Chrysothemis, and Felicity Palmer did a sensational job as Klytemnestra.  I went to Lincoln Center early to do my photo of the day – my one potentially good image was spoiled as a security guard got in the way.  You evidently can’t shoot with a tripod in the Lincoln Center plaza – not even a very small one.  I’ve substituted the same point of view and time of day from a few days earlier.  I hope not to have to do this again.

Lincoln Center Fountain and the Metropolitan Opera House

Monday December 7, 2009

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Today I worked on a long-running project – photographing iconic structures.   I’ve been putting off the Brooklyn Bridge for some time – John Roebling’s masterpiece is a truly intimidating subject.  The light was dull so this is not a day for great art, but for exploring angles and pedestrian approaches in a part of Manhattan that is dominated by on and off ramps.  The plan as always is to sneak up on on the icon, rather than confront it frontally.  I plan on exploring the Brooklyn side later in the week.  If we have a decent sunrise or sunset in the next week I’ll try it in infrared.

Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge