Saturday, May 30, 2009

Film Shoot

Was wandering through Chelsea around 9PM when a large crowd and bright lights were spotted. It was a movie shoot. There were screams from the people on the street surrounding the subjects.

The setup was a car scene, with a hotrod-type car mounted to a moving platform. In the earlier days of movies, there would just be a studio shot with people sitting in front of a projection of traffic behind. I guess the same thing could be done with a green screen, but this certainly ends up being more realistic, I guess. The setup is so elaborate with a camera vehicle and a lighting vehicle preceding the actual actors vehicle. It was a chaotic scene, not to mention the rubbernecking from traffic on Sixth avenue.

I snapped off a few shots, but didn't recognize the actor. He turned out to be Jay Baruchel (never heard of him but he has decent credits). He had a dog on his lap also. A tour bus came up aside of the setup. More screaming, as those up top hovered over the scene. The driving actor seemed to be enjoying the attention and snapped off a wink to the crowd.

I started to move away and then heard that Nicholas Cage was in the car, on the other side (which I couldn't see). I moved closer and saw him, but wasn't able to get a shot. In the past when I've encountered various movie shoots taking place in the City, I was annoyed by the authoritative declarations of crowd control production assistants who always seemed to be Jr. High Schoolers telling you to get out of the way. But, I kind of liked the handler below in the Yankee hat, who gave updates to the crowd, and even gave information about the film and what was happening.

By the way, the film is a Disney movie called The Sorcerer's Apprentice. It's coming out July 16th, 2010.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

WTC down below

There is some progress now becoming visible at the World Trade Center site. Some parts of the construction are now above ground level (primarily the Freedom Tower, which has been renamed to "One World Trade Center", it is at the upper right of the picture).

This is what the site now looks like from the building across the street (height 32nd floor). I would need a bit more of a wide angle to get it all in. The square shaped construction with the square metal hole in it is in the footprint of one of the former buildings and will be a memorial. I think the second memorial is part of the square pattern below that area and to the left of it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Flyover Flew Over

It is Fleet Week in New York City. That's when the Navy hits town with their sailors and battleships. There are boat parades and other events. Scheduled at 11:45am today was a flyover of military F-18 planes which were to head up over the Hudson River at 1000 feet. That's so low that they had multiple announcements to warn the NY public regarding the low flying aircraft.

Since I was well situated on the 32nd floor of a building that looked directly out to the Hudson, I was geared up, excited and ready for the planes to zip by. I pre-set my camera to a fast shutter speed and arrived at the window at 11:40am. I took a shot of a battleship as it went by and waited with a few others for the planes.

One guy said, "You missed it", they went by at 11:35am. He had the air of jocularity and I didn't pay any attention. I saw crowds along the riverfront and on buildings overlooking the water so they would have left if the planes had gone by... obviously.

Well, soon it was noon, and then it was 12:15pm. No planes. Apparently they had passed by already. So much for military precision.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Look

Some of the most interesting interaction between street strangers is when attractive women (or women who think they are attractive) pass by men (who think they themselves are attractive and try to spark something or might just enjoy looking).

One instance previously noted was the "Millionaire's Girl" comment, a rather aggressive method. But, here are a couple of other shots with guys noticing women passing.

1) This is in Foley Square. This woman was strutting for a few blocks and captured the gaze of this guy as she was about to descend into the subway (just out of site, but which he appeared to be guarding).

2) Another one, this woman was getting quite a bit of attention for several blocks after her Starbucks run, but I think the little sideways "hi" here was an interesting unthreatening gesture from a man passing out leaflets for cheap suits.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Lottery Competition

I took this picture of several people making purchases at a newsstand. Lottery tickets are a hot item at this particular location. This picture of the interaction between two women I thought was interesting. It looked to me that woman #1 on the left was glaring at the complacent woman behind her on line. I was going to call it "Newsstand Glare".
However, when I zoomed in on #1's eyes, it became clear that she was looking down at the lottery picks that the second woman was about to make. So, the essence of the picture changed, as you could interpret that she was not happy that others were participating in the contest. I renamed the picture to be called "Lottery Competition".

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Phone Booth trio

About a year ago, I noticed that an area of construction on the corner of Fulton and Broadway had a rather artistic spin around the scaffolding. The street has been dug up and there appeared an arty orange striped arrow structure. On the street I noted three telephone booths, that alone is a vestige of an old New York. There might be one here or there, but three together is unusual.
Now, more than a year later, of course, the construction is still in progress but has evolved somewhat. The orange striping is gone, replaced with a solid blue wall. The street is repaired but there is no traffic yet. And, the three phone booths are more prominent. It caught my eye again the other day, and the blue seemed like a good background to frame the three phones (especially when I saw a green milk crate next to it). Also, it was a cloudy day, which provided a nice even light to the scene.

So, I setup and waited for people to work their way through the scene rushing by on the sidewalk. I timed the shots as people were in various spots in balance with the phones. Here are a few of them:

1) The green jacket balances the green crate in this one.
2) This one was going to be my pick of the group, as I like the urgency of the guy coming in on the right and the opposition of the girl with the orange pants heading the opposite way.
3) But, when I looked at them in a smaller format, the three figures in this one, I thought, was the most unusual.
4) The next day I went back, this time it was a sunny day so I was curious to see if it would be a different type of shot, and I actually saw a guy on the phone (what? in this day of cell phones!).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


More people are hanging out on the street and engaging in conversation as the weather improves. I noticed a couple of sets of people today in heated discussions. Or should I say one of the people in each of the chats was obviously the talker, while the other was the listener. Each of the talkers contributed their portion of the dialogue for at least three minutes without a break to listen.

This guy was standing at a section of Broadway that was undergoing construction. Because part of the street was blocked off, he had a nice little niche for his discussion. I call this picture, "What About Me?"

These two guys were near the PATH train. The orange fellow was quite expressive with his hands. This one is called "Orange Talker".