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Tag : New York City

26 Jan 2020

A night in New York City

Last night was a fun workshop in New York City. All day there was heavy rain and miserable conditions. I had postponed the workshop from the week before due to snow and ice predictions and it turned out to be a wise idea. Yesterday it looked like the rain would stop around 6:00 p.m. so I decided to go ahead with the workshop. I warned everyone to be ready for rain, it is important to keep yourself as dry as your equipment. Once you get wet clothes you are cold until you change into something dry. 

I made some adjustments to our schedule so we would start with shooting indoors at Grand Central Terminal and then head right down to Brooklyn. My genius came through and it stopped raining by the time we were done at Grand Central. One of the great things about changing weather is that the light usually becomes much better and yesterday it became absolutely special. We went south of the Brooklyn Bridge to photograph old pilings in the East River with lower Manhattan in the background. It was rather blah when we first got there and then as darkness approached the clouds starting doing cool things, clear skies mixed with clouds and it looked great. Then fog rolled in, making for a different look. As we were finishing there I had my back to the city for 30 seconds and when I turned around the fog had covered all of Manhattan and you couldn’t tell the city existed. Pretty cool.

We went up the Dumbo area to photograph around the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. There was still some fog hanging around so I used part of the Manhattan Bridge to frame in a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan. The light combined with the wet ground and fog to make an eerie image. There are always lots of great photos in that area.

We finished the night at a special spot on 42nd St. in Manhattan where we photographed traffic and car lights streaking past. A beautiful way to end the day that started out dismal.

26 Oct 2019

Streaking at the Brooklyn Bridge

A fun workshop that I do with fellow professional photographer Ron Lake is a tour of New York City’s big bridges. We can’t hit them all in one day but we go to five of the most photogenic. Our first stop is usually the George Washington Bridge and the little known Little Red Lighthouse that sits underneath. I’ve written in my blog about it before but it is still fun to take people to something they didn’t know existed. We then go to one of the prettiest bridges, the Queensborough, then the industrial Williamsburg Bridge. Finally we go over to Brooklyn to shoot the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. Photographing the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk as the lights of lower Manhattan start glowing is always a favorite. A helicopter zipped past tonight as I was doing a long exposure creating a streak of light and dashes from a flashing light. It is a lot of fun and the scene never gets tiring.

28 Apr 2019

Another shot at New York City bridges

One of the really fun workshops I do is a day in New York City photographing some of the bridges. We start the day under the George Washington Bridge where there is the Little Red Lighthouse that not many people know about. They literally built the huge bridge over the tiny lighthouse and since the lighthouse is so small it didn’t get it the way much during construction. Once the bridge was completed and was lit up the lighthouse was decommissioned. It went into disrepair and was about to be torn down but there was public outcry because of a children’s book that had been written about it. Now it is part of the NYC park system and there for all to see, if you can find it.

Then we went to the tan and black Queensboro Bridge, which may be the prettiest large bridge in the city. It is officially the Ed Koch Bridge but not many people call it that. We ended the day in Brooklyn, walking up on the bridge, which is always exciting. Then we went to the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass and is a cool area. There is a spot where you can photograph the Empire State Building framed by an arch in a Manhattan Bridge stanchion. It had been cloudy and threatening rain all day but the clouds cleared and we had a great sunset.

After the sun went down we walked over to the side of the Brooklyn Bridge as darkness fell on Manhattan and the lights of the city came up. It is always a spectacular sight and it doesn’t get any better than tonight. What a great way to end a beautiful day.

There are more of my photos and images made by the workshop participants at https://lorenphotos.com/nyc-bridges-4-28-19-photos/

23 Dec 2018

A day photographing bridges in New York City

I had a fun day today in the big city with friend and fellow pro photographer Ron Lake. We kicked around photographing some of New York’s bridges, which are some of the most amazing structures anywhere. I’m planning a photography workshop to shoot the bridges and wanted to do a final scouting trip.

Before meeting Ron I went under the George Washington Bridge to the Little Red Lighthouse. It isn’t easy to get to but it is pretty cool and may be the smallest lighthouse I’ve seen at only 40 feet high. The lighthouse was originally on Sandy Hook in NJ and was dismantled and then rebuilt in this spot in 1921, which was a treacherous section of the Hudson River. When they decided to build the bridge in the same spot somehow the little lighthouse was spared and eventually ended up at part of the New York City park system. Getting to it isn’t easy, especially if you are driving because there is no parking anywhere close. I was lucky to find an early morning spot and made the long walk crossing Riverside Drive and Henry Hudson Parkway over footbridges and through pedestrian underpasses. I wouldn’t want to go there at night by myself.

I picked up Ron and headed to the Brooklyn Bridge. It was opened in 1883 and Ron and I together have been shooting photos for almost that long but even with all the times we’ve walked around or drove over the bridge we hadn’t strolled up on it.

The Brooklyn Bridge has some startling history. Four days after it opened there was a stampede on the bridge when a apparently a woman tripped and set off a quick moving rumor that the bridge was collapsing. Twelve people died and 36 more were injured. People didn’t accept right away that the bridge was safe and many wouldn’t use it. Officials went to the greatest showman of all time, circus man P.T. Barnum and he walked 21 elephants across the bridge. When people saw that they were no longer scared. 

It is a pretty easy walk onto the bridge from the Brooklyn side, you just have to find the entrance and walk up a flight of stairs. Since today was such a beautiful day there were a lot of people walking on the bridge, taking selfies and enjoying the view, which is magnificent. It would be fun to photograph without a ton of people but I worked around them as best as I could.

We made more photos around the base of the bridge and went over to the nearby Manhattan Bridge, which happed to eclipse the Brooklyn Bridge as the world’s longest by four feet when it was finished in 1909. It too is a beautiful bridge, especially when the suspension cables glisten in the sunlight. We know a couple of great vantages that make for cool shots and they didn’t disappoint.

We jumped back in the car, crossed the Brooklyn Bridge back into Manhattan and went up to the Williamsburg Bridge. Not many people call this one pretty but I took us to a park at the base that is pretty neat. This bridge is more industrial looking than the other two and makes for different types of photos. It is easy to get under the bridge and I loved the way the light was playing off the columns and nearby high rise apartments.

Next was the Queensborough Bridge and a couple of little lookouts Ron had found. The paint job on the Queensborough is pretty bright, it is a lovely tan that catches light differently. The tram to Governor’s Island runs alongside the bridge and is fun to see. After getting plenty of shots around the bridge we called it a day.

Below is a gallery of photos, click on one to see a larger image and then you can click through the slideshow.

18 Nov 2018

Peeking into Manhattan from a Brooklyn perspective

Last night was another fun night photography workshop in New York City. We started in the afternoon at the iconic Flatiron Building and then headed to Brooklyn for sunset. Photographers love to shoot the pilings along the Brooklyn waterfront looking over into Manhattan and for good reason. We got to Brooklyn before sunset so I took them to a cool spot in Dumbo where you can photograph the Empire State Building framed by one the Manhattan Bridge stanchions. It makes for a fun shot and everyone enjoyed making some images there even with all the people shooting selfies in the middle of the street. There was even a bridal shoot going on.

As the sun got lower we jumped into my van and made our way down to where the pilings are located. The sky was a overcast but with a combination of low and high clouds so there was a lot of definition in the layers and it really held the light from the city. It was cool to see how the clouds reflected the light and made for some great patterns. I decided to try a very wide angle shot combined with a long exposure to get some movement in the clouds. I really like the result and have the feeling this is going to be a big print for the wall and art shows.

11 Nov 2018

A fun time on the street in Chinatown

Today was a bit of a different workshop: street photography in New York. Street photography has become kind of trendy, but the more I thought about it I realized it is what I started doing over 40 years ago. Working as a newspaper photojournalist was all about being out on the street. Many times I had assignments but a lot of time was spent finding photos on the street and documenting the community. I worked at one small Indiana newspaper where I was the only photographer and the job consisted of finding photos to fill the front page and local news page each day. I rarely had assignments, it was all about getting out into the town and making tons of street photos. The pressure was immense and I only lasted a year, just like the two photographers before me. But it was my best year of shooting ever. Pretty much all I did for that year was shoot pictures, process them, eat, go shoot more and sleep a little. I won tons of awards that year but it was too much.

I really had fun this afternoon when we were in Chinatown. There were lots of people on the streets, the markets were bustling and the stores were looking good and the light was great. A good thing about New York is that people don’t really care what you are doing as long as you don’t bother them.

26 Oct 2018

You never know what you’ll find in NYC

Last night was another workshop in New York City focusing on night photography. We started in Central Park, which is always full of surprises. This time it was a couple of performers singing and playing violins inside the chilly underpass at Bethesda Fountain. When we first walked up it was a bit disappointing because the fountain was turned off, which isn’t too pretty. Then we heard the music coming from the nearby walkway underpass. A woman and man were making unique sounds with their voices and fiddles, although I’m sure they don’t call their violins fiddles. They had a couple of portable lights and crazy, colorful makeup, their look matched their sounds. She was extremely high pitched and her signing style was what I’d call a wail. He liked to chant. I can’t imagine what it would be like to to live in the apartment next to them when they are practicing and experimenting.

I then took our group over to the Bow Bridge and did a little lightpainting, one of my favorite techniques of lighting objects with a flashlight during a long exposure. It was a fun evening in the park before we headed out to explore other areas of New York.

16 Aug 2018

Getting ready for New York City photography workshops

I’ve been wanting to do photography workshops and tours in New York City for a while but there is always the big problem of transportation, getting around in the city isn’t easy or fun. I’ve solved that problem with the purchase of my Sprinter 12-passenger van. So lookout New York, I’m going to be turning lots of photographers loose on the city!

Friend and fellow professional photographer Ron Lake will be helping me on many of the NYC trips. Ron and I do workshops together in France and Italy including one in Venice during Carnival in March followed by a return trip to Tuscany while the red poppies are in bloom in May. Ron and I made a quick dash into New York to scout some locations tonight and I got some pretty cool shots in Brooklyn of the Manhattan skyline and the bridge. It will be fun to do these workshops.

23 Aug 2015

The old and new coexist along New York City’s High Line

EscapesGlass and treeOne of New York City’s newest attractions was made out of something old. Someone had the great idea of turning an old elevated railway into a natural park and thus the High Line was created. The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues. The area around the High Line was once the booming meat, fruit and biscuit center of New York. The new park gives a unique view of the city and has created its own green spaces.

Like all of NYC, it is full of diversity and I love my two views of city buildings, the old and the new.

12 Jul 2015

Getting a shot of Manhattenhenge

ManhattenhengeIt only happens twice a year and it is one of those strange New York City occurrences – Manhattenhenge. It is when the setting sun lines up directly on the cross streets of the Big Apple. Hundreds, if not thousands, of photographers come out to try to get a shot of a blazing ball setting between the big buildings. I’ve tried several times and clouds block me every time.

This year the clouds only kinda won.

I saw the sun peek through the clouds and it made a decent shot, not as good as I would like, but it was fun anyway.

I go to a little overpass on 42nd St. on the east side of the island near the United Nations. There is always a crowd, so to get a shot without photographers in it you either have to get there early, like before 3 p.m. or shoot over the top of them. That is what I do. I have a very tall tripod that goes to nearly seven feet high and I take a little step stool. There is always plenty of jostling but it works out.