Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New York (In My Mind)

Hands of a Sand Artist


Pictures from the High Line

New York State of Mind

I've been to NYC a total of two times and I consider myself a savvy traveler.  Booking anything through an agency or travel agent is against my "travel beliefs" and I prefer doing a lot of research and planning the entire trip myself.  With NYC, it's a little bit different.  My sister-in-law has lived in Manhattan for about five years, so visiting is like having your own personal tour guide to the city - a new yorker showing you "their" city.  I'm very grateful for this, as I'm sure I've experienced things that a tourist traveling to NYC would never think to do. 

With that being said, I can say that my second visit was dramatically different than the first.  The first visit to NYC was in 2008.  As soon as I stepped out of the apartment building on our first morning, I was in utter awe and was out of sorts.  The city is so massive and it's very tough to get your bearings.  I'm not used to that - usually I just start going and work my way around the city and I feel very comfortable.  It took me a good day and a half to get adjusted.  I was shooting with my Sony Cybershot camera on that trip and I was taking shots of everything.  That was my first shoot, so I like to think I've become more picky about the things I shoot. 

As I said, the second visit was much different than the first.  I was there for a few days at the end of May.  My wife (then fiance) was picking up her wedding dress and I had the pleasure of accompanying her on the trip (though I didn't see her dress until the wedding day).  I felt more at ease with the city and I was able to slow down; if that makes since.  I feel like I got a better picture, no pun intended, of how the city really is.  I created images much different from my first trip, I hit a creative sweet spot on the third day, and I had a really nice time.

The first day was filled with exploring the High Line, which is an elevated subway line that has been converted to a park.  When it's completely finished, it will be a mile and a half elevated park that will run through West Side districts like the Meatpacking District and Chelsea.  The park is very serene and is an elevated Oasis above the craziness that is the city.  Definitely worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood.  The second day I walked the Brooklyn Bridge and explored Brooklyn a bit.  Brooklyn has become a very trendy borough; we walked around an area that had a ton of one-of-a-kind boutiques and restaurants.  The third day, a very creative day, was spent at Grand Central Terminal, Central Park and Washington Square Park.  I took a ton of images and I hit a creative high by the time we arrived at Washington Square Park. The final day was spent at the Guggenheim Museum, where we saw the "Haunted" exhibit.  I've said it before, but Frank Lloyd Wright was well ahead of his time and still is.  The Guggenheim is such an amazing structure; it's worth the price of admission just to see the building.  It was a short trip, but one that included a mix of touristy and non-touristy activities. 

This was the third time I was out with my Canon EOS 50D and I really began to use some of the features on the camera. I came away happy with the images I created and I look forward to my next visit to the city.  I will post images as usual in the upcoming blogposts.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Columbus EPS Shoot Day 2 Images

Columbus EPS Shoot Day 2

After a day of shooting nature, it was time to turn to the concrete jungle of downtown.  Recently, I've taken an interest in abandoned, graffitied and forgotten structures - urban decay.  I figured that I might be able to find a few interesting locations in downtown Columbus.

I got a later start than the previous day and the weather wasn't as optimal.  I started at the edge of the Arena District, behind Huntington Park.  There are a few old buildings by the Buggyworks complex.  The buildings are very interesting, with some graffiti, peeling paint, rusted doors, etc.  I enjoyed photographing them and then I moved on.  I headed down towards the Short North.  For those of you who don't know, the Short North is one of the most vibrant areas of Columbus.  It's a huge arts district that's home to numerous art galleries, wall art, street performers, boutiques, antique shops and fabulous restaurants.  I wandered around for awhile taking a number of shots.  I then walked back the way I came, to insure that I didn't miss anything the first time.

I didn't shoot as long as I did the day before and I was a little preoccupied with switching back and forth between my Canon AE-1P film camera and my Canon EOS 50D SLR camera.  This was the first time I used my film camera, so I was essentially learning how to use it while I shot.  I didn't get as many shots as I wanted and I was hoping for a bit more "decay."  However, I was in the thriving part of downtown, so I guess I should have expected less.  I need to do a bit more research and look into truly decaying areas and decaying "off-limit" buildings to find the right subject for the type of urban decay shots that interest me. 

With that being said, I still enjoyed the solitude of shooting by myself as well as the weekend trip overall.  I got some good images, I am getting used to my new digital and I got to experiment with film.  So, it was a good trip overall and I look forward to improving my photography skills and shooting more material on my next visit to Columbus.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Columbus EPS Shoot Day 1 Images

Rock Window at Inniswoods Metro Park

Shadowy Steps at Inniswoods Metro Park

Chihuly glass at Franklin Park Conservatory

Cactus at Franklin Park Conservatory

Abstract leaf at Franklin Park Conservatory

Rundown structure on the grounds of Franklin Park Conservatory

Benches on the grounds of Franklin Park Conservatory

My idea of a floral image. At Franklin Park Conservatory

Columbus EPS Shoot Day 1

I wasn't kidding when I said I would be blogging this week! I know it's been awhile, but I would like to discuss the weekend Edison Photo Society (EPS) shoot in Columbus, OH this past May.  Typically, there is always a weekend shoot for EPS members.  A location is decided upon early in the year and members can come and go as they please and shoot whatever they want.  That is exactly what happened this year.  For those of you who don't know, I'm a huge fan of Columbus.  I love the vibe of the city, the different areas and suburbs, the restaurant scene, the arts scene, the list of countless things to do, etc.  It's no wonder that my wife and I decided to get married in downtown Columbus.  The weekend of the shoot, I arrived in Columbus between 8 and 9 a.m.  I knew a few members were starting at Inniswoods Metro Park, so I thought that would be a good place for me to start as well.  It was a warm and sunny day and the sun was shining bright by the time I had my gear ready to go. 

For those of you who haven't been, Inniswoods is a massive park located within a nature preserve.  There are streams, woodlands, wildflowers, gardens, rocks, structures and more located on the 123 acres that the park boasts.  The items I just named obviously provide a wealth of shooting opportunities, especially for the nature shooter.  While nature is not my preferred subject matter, I did enjoy the morning and walked away with some interesting shots.  The park is so big and I roam very slowly, I didn't cover much ground.  That didn't take away from my experience and I would be happy to shoot there again someday.  At this point in the day, it was already turning into a much better shoot than Loveland Castle.

After meeting up with some of the EPS members at Inniswoods and grabbing lunch, it was off to the Franklin Park Conservatory.  Franklin Park Conservatory was built in 1895 and is located just a few miles from the heart of downtown Columbus.  Franklin Park Conservatory is set on 88 acres of land and houses more than 400 species of plants from around the world as well as a special collection of glass from the world famous artist Dale Chihuly.  In addition to numerous exhibitions and workshops, Franklin Park Conservatory is also a premier event space.  Numerous weddings are held outdoors every year.  This was only the second time I've been to Franklin Park Conservatory; the first was a few years prior and I was only there for a wedding.  So, this was the first time that I was actually exploring the entire grounds.  I wandered around for a few hours, doubling back every place I went hoping to find something I missed the first time.  Again, plant life and nature is not my first choice of subject matter, but I enjoyed my time and got a lot of interesting shots. 

I doubt I'm the only one, but I can only look at so many pictures of flowers, plants, wildlife, etc.  However, I try to approach the subject in a non-traditional way and I hope to make an interesting image out of something that usually comes across as bland or ordinary in a number of photographs.  I'm not saying there aren't artists out there taking amazing and unique photos of flowers and plant life.  There are; I just think in general, a lot of shots are not worth a second look.  I also try to look for other things in the surroundings of the plants and flowers to photograph.  There some very interesting subjects and if you just take a moment to look, you'll find them.  By doing this, I feel like I capture a place in a unique fashion - a way that I'll remember my experience.  I take that approach every time I pick up my camera.  I purposely try not to take the standard shot.  When viewing my travel photography you might not see a lot of typical landmark shots, but you should definitely get a sense of my experience and what makes a location unique and exciting.  I took this approach on Day 1 of Columbus as well as Day 2.  Why the subject matter wasn't my favorite, I had a great time, I was very happy with the shots I did get and I would gladly shoot these locations again in the future.  Thank you Columbus, for giving me another reason to love you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Photos and posts coming soon!

Hello all!

I'm sorry I've been away for awhile.  Now that the wedding is over, I have a little more time to devote to my photography.  I'm diligently working on selecting my best shots from the Columbus EPS shoot, my NYC trip and the England Honeymoon.  I have some slight, typical editing to do on some of the shots, but hopefully Imagery As Art will have a flurry of blogposts in the very near future.  The full Columbus EPS shoot will be reviewed and more images will be posted from it this week.  I hope you enjoy viewing my work and and reading my posts.  As always feel free to comment and share your thoughts.  I hope to get more experimental with my images as the year progresses and take my work to a new level.

Thanks for following!