Thursday, January 22, 2009

Opposite Vantage Points

With the Pittsburgh Steelers being in the Super Bowl, thoughts of the city came back to me. I know that each time I see a picture that I've taken, I am transported back to the moment that it was created. I can remember the activity of snapping the camera, the circumstances, and the perspective. I find this uncanny since I am rather sketchy on names and facts in particular.

One night earlier this year I happened to be in Pittsburgh, a photographically interesting city that I was totally unfamiliar with. Out of a search for lodging in a geographically relevant place for our purposes, the Renaissance Hotel was our home for three days. It was nondescript and urban from the street view. Looking up the street from the front of the building, it was seen to be positioned right in front of a bridge, the Roberto Clemente Bridge, I later found out was its name.

When arriving at a hotel, it is normal to look out the window. I found a most unusual view which was totally unexpected. Through an arch cut into the building, there was a direct view of the bridge framed perfectly by the walls of the hotel. I waited until the evening and took the time exposure here.

I knew that PNC Park, the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates was on the other side of the river. And, I occasionally would see a ball game with the magnificent cityscape and view of the bridge over the outfield wall. Well, it finally clicked in my mind that the hotel, which was strategically perched right by the bridge should be in the view during games. And, upon careful examination, I became aware that my actual room on the 7th floor is visible during any Pirates game.

It may be insignificant in the scheme of things, but whenever I will ever see a baseball game in progress in Pittsburgh, for the rest of my life, I know I will remember the picture of the bridge from the hotel room with all its details.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Best of 2008

There's a New Year's update on my main website :

----> There are now pictures posted which feature the Top 10 of 2008. Here's the link: .htm

I found that subjects have evolved somewhat over the course of the year. Some previous themes were related to landmarks or different perspectives of particular areas (perhaps I’ve exhausted some of the major categories associated with the New York City area). Anyway, I am now very interested in Street Photography and these reflect this. The newest photos are frequently pictures of strangers on the street, many translated to Black and White. Besides being interesting to myself, I’ve noticed that when I post these pictures to my online Flickr account, these draw a lot more “views” than the more “beautiful” types of pictures I’ve worked on in the past.

Some of the Top 10 pictures come from the most recent Street Shots series on my main site. There are also a few that are brand new. It was a bit tricky to get down to only 10 pictures, and I actually left many many favorites out (it was a very productive year, photographically anyway). Here's what made the cut. (You can click the photo's name to see it on the site’s page). You will see that some of them are linked to blog entries in which I discuss them in detail:

  1. Queen Mary 2 – The Queen Mary 2 ocean liner was preparing to rendezvous with the Queen Elizabeth 2 which was making its final trip across the Atlantic. A view from a skyscraper between the buildings of the massive ship.
  2. Man with Coffee – It is a lone man sitting in the window of a coffee shop. This was noticed and cropped from a picture of a completely different subject.
  3. Fan Fan – A vintage-style capture of a girl behind a spinning fan at a flea market.
  4. Alone A figure silhouetted on a rainy sidewalk taken from above.
  5. Watching the Tickertape Parade – Hundreds at their windows overlooking a tickertape parade for the New York Football Giants taking place below on Broadway.
  6. Cig A cigarette dangles from a man’s hand.
  7. Crossing Silhouette – The silhouetted legs of a pedestrian in a crosswalk near City Hall.
  8. Cigarette Swing – A classic street photography view of a stylish woman walking down a rainy street with a cigarette gesture.
  9. Financial District People - The most viewed picture of the year on the Flickr account. A mixture of moods of individuals walking down Broadway.
  10. Twilight Windows - As evening approaches, the glowing lights of a brownstone building provide a mixture of moods from each window.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Some characters noticed on the streets of Manhattan. It was after I selected them that I actually realized they were all on cell phones. Yak Yak Yak...

Hailing Yakker

Cigar Yakker

Silent Yakker