Tag Archives: new york

April 2014 – On location NYC

I have not settled on this as the final post processed image, but this is what I am going for. This is a true HDR merged with photoshops Merge to HDR pro. I am relatively happy with the tone mapping, but the color appears a touch too yellow for me taste. It also seems to matter a lot what mood im in. I am going to attempt to get the same dynamic range with a photo exposure stack using the layers blending options in photoshop.

I won’t call this the final product, but you get the idea. I am relatively happy with the composition and this shot works well for both large prints and square format prints.

Let me know what you think.

Since I am feeling lazy today you don’t get the step by step. If you want it – comment in the comments section below and I will follow up with a post on the full process involved.

central park 1

I have also included an exposure stack of the image I had original chosen when I was exploring NYC looking for a location.
I think it turned out kinda cool, but it is missing a story, some sort of hook to connect me with that time and place.

sunrise central park

Finally I have included one of the shots from sunset over new york. What a cool moment.

I will almost certainly make a print of this for my own purposes. The top of the rock observatory prevents commercial photography so unlike my other prints this one will not be for sale.
If you are desperate to get your hands on it for some reason we can work something out.

sunset nyc

April 2014 – New York Post processing

I have included some low res test shots right out of camera for you to see.

The sunrise in central park requires a dynamic range I simply could not get with a single shot.

I like the composition of the tower with the rock and trees in the foreground less at sunrise then I did the previous night and the sun rose much further north than I had expected so the light cast hard shadows in places that I was hoping would be highlighted.

As a result the one shot this month that I will concentrate on is the trees backlit by the sun.

I also go some great shots from the rooftop observatory which we planned very much to be there for sunset and were greeted with almost perfect conditions, so this project has payed huge dividends already for me.

Careful planning and setup is key to getting it right in camera, and I will only need to do some exposure blending and sharpening to get the final products I am looking for for these pictures.

It is nice not to have to rely on software to get a good image. I’ll say that a different way. Get it right in camera and let the software do softwarelike stuff (ie. Panorama stitching – dust removal etc.)

Hope you enjoy these sample images.

I hope to post the final product this week.



April 2014 – 911 memorial

New york city has been an emotional trip for me.  Nerve wracking, frustrating, joyfilled and sadening.  Mostly sadening.  
The 9/11 memorial was a much more sobering experience than I had anticipated.  I expected the magnitude of it and the excitement of the one world trade center freedom tower to keep me removed from the tragedy of it.    I was wrong.
I still remember where my 18 year old self was standing watchinging helplessly as the second plane flew toward the towers.  Now I am not American…never have been, but at the time I could tell something was happening that would change all of north america and probably the world.  I remember feeling alone and also feeling instantly connected to everyone around me, particularly my friends from the U S that I had just met for the first time 7 days earlier. 
Those emotions returned as I stood by the pools where the towers once stood as I walked slowly reading name after name and trying to image the faces of countless people I had never met.
Some had been carefully wiped clear after the early morning rain others were adorned with white roses and still others held the attention of passersby.   At first I didn’t want to photograph names I stuck to photographing titles like “engine 40” and “world trade center”, but the more I tried to frame shots around these words the more I realized I was trying to remove myself from what happened.   The more pictures I took the more certain names stuck out aided by the shallow depth of field I was using. 
One name grabbed me and held me for a long time Sara M Clark a single rose sat in the center of her name held by the relief of the carved metal.  The contrast of near black finish and white rose was an image too strong to be ignored.  At first I didn’t take any pictures I just stared trying to absorb the weight of what I was seeing visually and emotionally.  I wanted to experience to feel not just document as so many of the visitors seemed content to do.  Don’t get me wrong I documented a number of scenes at groubd zero to take home to share with my family but in this moment I held back.  Contemplating and absorbing as much as I could.  I cried.  I tried to hide it to choke it back but my eyes filled with water.  I turned away to see a young girl being comforted by friends as she sobbed uncontrollably.   I cried some more.  Not uncontrolled tears of grief but tears of genuine sadness of remorse of anger.
I tried to capture the simplicity and contrast as best I could.  The cold lifeless metal and the beautiful rose.   The irony that the monument would stand long after the rose faded and turned to dust.  The black shiny metal and the soft rose.  And the name etched there in history a face unknown to me but loved by someone yet a monument to all.

sara clark
I was going to write about more of the sad experiences I had in nyc becuase I think the experience has changed me but now is not the time. 
I mean no disrespect to the family, I hope you find some comfort in knowing that her name impacted me so deeply.

April 2014 – Sometimes you win…

…and sometimes you win twice.  Yesterday was a phenomenal day in nyc.  I started at 545 am with a slow trudge through morning routine and a brisk hike to the park to set up for the morning.  I will admit I got lost.  I could not find the location I had picked the night before. 
After a 15 wonder through the southern end of central park I found the location.  After watching the early morning light peak over the tops of the buildings I soon realized that the sun was much further north on the horizon than I had anticipated.  I quickly repositioned and shot a number of shots which were better than I had hoped based on the light.  After half an hour I decided to wander.  I was rewarded with more scenic well lit and picturesque scenes than I could have imagined in the dark the night before.  Win 1.

Win 2 came almost 12 hours later when we ascended 68 floors to the top of the rock observation deck.  While disappointed that the view of the chrysler building was skewed from our vantage point the views were still breathtaking.   We arrived at the perfect time.  The sun was going down and the sky was clear.  I could not have asked for a better photo shooting day.  I am posting a sample from my smartphone, but I promise once I get bavk to Canada I will share the edited images from my d800e.
An excellent plan came together and I had the chance to marvel at the work of man and of God simultaneously.   What a rewarding day and I now have the photos to share the experience with family friends and many others who have loved the experience and this city. 




April 2014 – On Location

After less than 24 hours since my plane touched down in NY I visited more than 100 locations for a planned shoot.  Cathedrals grand central, landmarks like the statue of liberty and one world trade center, subways, delis, backstreets and even the library have all been visited in an attempt to find the perfect location.  Tonight I think I found it.  Central park presents a wide open space to lower the angle of the building tops and the ground which is helpful since I have a 50mm prime lense in tow. 
I plan to shoot at sunrise and tomorrow despite the forecast late in the day being for rain and cloud the clear sky tonight should hold long enough to give a spectacular view with the early light casting color in both the sky and surrounding buildings.  I found a pathway at the southern edge of the park with excellent views of both the eastern and western midtown skylines.

If the light cooperates I have some test shots from tonight that suggest I will get some excellent exposures tomorrow. 
I dont want to ruin the suprise but I have a pretty good idea of the composition and know where I will attempt to set up at arount 545 am tomorrow.