The hibernation is over.
As the weather starts to warm up in NYC and we start to reacquaint ourselves with life outside our homes, the exploration of creative ways to cool down will begin. Thinking cold thoughts helps a lot, but there are other options out there. When running through water sprinklers is not an option and an open fire hydrant is a bit of overkill, a local coffee shop, or a café if you are feeling fancy, might be the answer. Sitting down at a non-chain local coffee shop and enjoying a good iced coffee always seems to work for me. I am a coffee drinker for the taste of it, not necessarily to get me going in the mornings.
The following is an image I made sitting in Espresso77 in Jackson Heights, NY.
Recently we changed our clocks and watches to daylight savings time. Spring forward fall back, is how I remember which direction to set the time. Winter is a recent but distant memory and spring is almost here. But lets not rush off to frolic on a remote sandy beach just yet. First... lets take a final look at the harsh winter blizzard that I am not entirely sure has fully melted away.
This morning, after spending a few minutes staring at my University diploma while sipping my hot coffee, I decided to re-visit an old image I made. I went back into the digital darkroom and reprocessed the image without looking at my first interpretation of it. Afterwards I compared the two images and the clear winner was the new one. Besides basic adjustments, the only manipulation on this image was cloning of sensor dust.
The best way to miss a great shot is to leave your camera at home. How do we avoid missing a great shot? Always have your camera with you and as taught to me by photographer Dave Beckerman taught me, never use the lens cap. One must be ready to shoot, and the time it takes to remove the lens cap is long enough to miss the shot. The old saying "time is money" could not be any truer. I try to have my camera around my neck and ready to shoot as often as possible. One night I wanted to have bring my camera with me on my regular neighborhood walk in Jackson Heights. It is very interesting that to be a good photographer one must also be a problem solver. That night I was presented with two very specific and possibly problematic obstacles. The first obstacle I needed to overcome was light. There was none, it was a nighttime walk. The second obstacle being the most difficult... I chose to take this nighttime walk in the middle of a blizzard. Having a DSLR camera body allows me to use interchangeable lenses so I grabbed my fastest lens (50mm f/1.4) and replaced the much slower zoom lens that I had been using earlier in the day. Shooting with a very big aperture and a relatively high ISO of about 800 should solve the issue of shooting at night. I was hoping that the street lights and the lights from the stores would be enough for me to make a good image and be able to conquer my first obstacle. The first obstacle was overcome by knowledge of the equipment I had to work with, the second obstacle would require creativity to solve. Overall my camera is well sealed and I am sure can hold up to the elements within certain limits. A blizzard is a different story. The key to solving this dilemma was to be found in the kitchen. I took a one gallon freezer bag and cut a small slit into it to allow it to be slipped over the camera body and the lens would fit through the slit I made. Now I was 100% ready to go on my nighttime blizzard walk. There was still one more problem that was created in my efforts to prepare my camera to be taken outside, the thick plastic made the viewfinder practically useless. A small price to pay to make an image in the middle of a blizzard. Trusting my autofocus and using the force helped in getting a few usable images.