3.24.2011

Street Photography - Where to go?



street-photography-nyc-clock
Boys to the right, girls to the left.

I don't normally do street photography, but I found this shot interesting enough to share. What I really found interesting about this shot, was the clock in the background. Due to where I was standing only two faces of the clock could be seen, one facing left and the other facing right. A clock alone does not make this picture interesting. Having people in the shot helps create the complete image. As can be expected in any New York City intersection, both men and women are crossing the street. Another point of interest is the fact that there are five people in the shot. I always find that odd numbers work better than even numbers in photography, and in this case I think my theory holds true. Strangely enough the most interesting part of this image is that all the men in the shot are looking in one direction, while the women in the shot are facing in the opposite direction. The colors in the picture did not really add anything special so I decided to leave the photo as a black and white shot.

3.06.2011

Is-Spring-in-the-Air?

Today I ask. Is spring in the air? To be able to answer that I could have paid better attention to Groundhog Day and based my answer on whether a shadow was seen or not seen. Even if I knew the results of that day, I always forget which means six more weeks of winter, the shadow or no shadow. If I remember correctly, when the groundhog sees his shadow and becomes frightened by it, he runs back into his home and we get six more weeks of winter. This system seems flawed, at least logically. When it is cloudy, it is usually cold, cold days make me think winter will continue, and finally a cloudy day offers very little in the way of shadows. If there are no shadows the groundhog according to the myth stays outside and spring is approaching. I'm not sure about you but if I am woken up early in the morning on a cold cloudy day, my best guess is that winter is here to stay and we will have to wait for spring even longer.

Moving on from the furry theories of weather prediction, we should look to our senses.

Sight has already been mentioned, simply put, sun means warm and clouds mean cold.

Touch is also a great indicator of weather. Moving from winter into spring days become warmer and warmer. Our skin can sense temperature and we are almost entirely covered in the stuff. Unless you suffer from some sort of medical condition, go outside every day, trust me, fresh air is good for your health also. If you feel the temperature rise considerably and consistently, it is a safe bet that spring is upon us. Of course you can just go to your favorite weather app or website and take note of the day's highs and lows. At least in NYC when you move from the 20s-40s and head into the 50s-60s, spring has arrived.

Next we have Smell/Taste. Yes they are two different things but are closely related in my opinion, so I will just group them into one category. As we go grocery shopping, this is the process of going to a store to buy the ingredients needed for cooking, when spring arrives we can enjoy the tastes of various seasonal fruits such as strawberries, melons, grapes and pears for example. Many of these items can be found year-round due to globalization, but overall these great tastes of spring will be found in abundance. Now for smell, if you are going outside like I suggested you do to feel the temperature, here is one more piece of advice... breathe. If you can breathe in a park, even better. Just do not be downwind of a sewer opening when you decide to take that deep lung-filling breath. Winter has a certain scent that is hard to describe, at least for me it is, but it is very distinct. Take notice of the scent next time you are indoors and someone walks in from the cold, I call it smelling like cold. On the other hand the smell of spring cannot be denied and if your nose is properly trained, you too can smell its essence.

The final and most defining way of knowing when spring has arrived is the auditory sense. Listen. Even before you hear the sounds of birds chirping and bees buzzing you will hear two other sounds that indicate spring is here. The first one is music. Why music? Because of the warmer weather you will have your windows open more often, and so will your neighbors. Soon our double-paned weather-sealed windows will not protect us from the televisions and stereos our neighbors decide to listen to at high volume. For the two plus years that I have lived in my current apartment, there is always that one guy in the neighborhood who plays the same 10 tracks multiple times a day, every day. The second main auditory clue one must pay attention to in order to know when winter has ended and spring commenced, is the sound of the ice cream truck.

Now that we have gone thru the various indicators of spring, I ask again, "Is spring in the air?" My answer is YES. Please do me a favor now and stop to smell the roses.




vase-roses