12.29.2010

2010-Christmas-Blizzard-in-Jackson-Heights

The Christmas blizzard of 2010 has come and gone, but evidence of it still lingers as the snow and ice
left in its wake still remain. Before our attention shifts to the next storm, I decided to provide a few
images I made shortly after the blizzard hit, documenting life on the streets of Jackson Heights.
The following shots were made in the span of two days.


Jackson-Heights-Blizzard-Street
The streets of Jackson Heights at dusk were bright and colorful due to the holiday decorated trees
that line the sidewalk. It is always nice to see the holiday spirit in full effect. The often busy 37th Ave.
was unusually quiet.


Jackson-Heights-Blizzard-Street
Moving on to some of the less popular streets one can truly feel engulfed by a winter wonderland,
or trapped in a giant snow globe.


Taxi-peeling-out-on-snow
Although we were all advised to keep off the snow covered streets, some people, like the taxi cab
above, were determined to drive on. Eventually the spinning wheels caught traction and the car
moved forward. (Probably to get stuck again a block later)


Men-pushing-car-in-snow
There was a real sense of community in Jackson Heights, as strangers would randomly band
together to help vehicles unable to escape the blizzard's icy grip. When I wasn't shooting, I too
helped a handful of cars out of the snow.


Taxi-parked-in-snow
Some individuals, like the taxi above gave up midway through an attempt at parallel parking. For
three days this cab made no attempt to properly park or leave the spot. The bright light on the cab
is from an oncoming truck making its way down the street.


Christmas-decorations

In closing, despite the clean up effort, the overall spirit of the season prevailed and the good in
people was brought to the surface.

12.14.2010

Croton-Dam-Long-Exposure-Waterfall

Today I present to you a black and white photo of the Croton Dam waterfall. This waterfall is located in the Croton Gorge Park. To make this image I ran into a small problem that in fact helped me solve another problem. Let me explain. First come my small problem, I got lost. Driving around looking for the Croton Dam after plugging in the wrong name in my gps, I was quickly losing daylight. In order to make a good exposure, proper light is needed and mine was quickly setting. Now to explain why my small problem turned out for the best. In order to create the soft, 'flowy', cotton candy water effect you need to use a long exposure. When shooting very long exposures during the day, we sometimes end up with too much light and an overexposed image. To combat this neutral density filter/s can be used. I had none when making this image. Thankfully I got lost, lost some daylight, and was able to take a long exposure shot without having too much light to deal with. This image is about a 20 second exposure. Thankfully I did have my tripod to stabilize the camera and not wind up with a blurry mess.

-Enjoy

Waterfall-Croton-Dam-Long-Exposure

12.07.2010

Motion-Control (Warp Speed Photography)

It is amazing how fast this year has come and almost gone. The older I get the faster each year seems to pass by. I realize more and more that when I recall an event from "a couple days ago" it usually took place weeks ago, and it was "about a month ago" really means several months ago. It wasn't long ago that I had the super come in to install my air conditioner, but just the other day I took it down for the winter. It really is hard to slow down. They say when you snooze you lose, I think that's true.

Now on to the technical-ish part of this post.

For this image I wanted to create motion where none existed before. Unless this was an Ent, this tree for all practical purposes does not move. To contrast the peaceful scenery in Central Park I decided to add a hectic element. In this case speed. When I wanted to add speed, I did not want just a little motion blur, I needed to go big, warp drive speed kind of big.

To create the warp speed motion effect I would first recommend using a good sturdy tripod. I did not use one this time, but I was still able to attain the result I was looking for. The next thing you will want to have on your camera is a zoom lens. All that is left to do is take a picture. The idea is to quickly zoom your lens while pressing the shutter release at the same time. You need to use a slow enough shutter speed to create the warp speed motion effect. If your shutter speed is set fast you will get a very static image. Whether you decide to zoom-in or zoom-out while taking your shot is entirely up to you. The important thing is to experiment and have fun learning at the same time.

-Enjoy

Central-Park-Tree-NYC-Warp-Speed
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