Monochrome Mondays

I’ve always been a fan of optical illusions. Those subtle little works of art that play little tricks on the viewers eyes. They can be fun games to play with people. I’m sure everyone at some point has played the ‘is it a vase, or is it a silhouette of two people game’. Or stared at photos to reveal a hidden object after a period of time. Or tried proving that objects that are further away appear smaller (just like Father Ted once exasperatingly tried to do!). Here’s a list of some of the classic ones-http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_optical_illusions

Artists such as MC Escher, Salvador Dali, and Marcel Duchamp utilized various types of optical illusions as well in their work. As I said in my recent post Terra Firma, sometimes in the moments before you take a photo, you get a sense of where you are going with the shot. You know what you are after, and you just hope the technique and decisions you choose are the right ones. I remember when I saw this scene for the first time I had the vaguest sense of it being an optical illusion of sorts in the way the archway fades up towards the distance. What do you think? What are your favorite illusions?

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Monochrome Mondays

There are days (or evenings) when the most routine things look unique. Scenes you see day in and day out. But then you just look at them in a new way and think, that’s kind of cool! That happened the other night getting off the subway. Maybe it was the time of day and the shadows that were set against the sun. That is one of my favorite things about monochrome photography. It really highlights shadows. I couldn’t actually decide on just one photo so  for the first time here on Monochrome Mondays I’m sharing more than one photo!

Happy Memorial Day as well. Thank you to all who have served.

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Monochrome Mondays

Well yesterday was a fabulous spring day here in New York City. My wife and I took a stroll around Flushing Meadows Corona Park and enjoyed the sunshine, glorious weather, and all the beautiful flowers and trees in bloom. For those unfamiliar, the park was twice the site of a World’s Fair, first in 1939 and then again in 1964.  It was a great chance to see the icons of this park standing up close and personal such as the Unisphere, the NY State Pavilion, and the Queens Museum. My favorite is definitely the Unisphere, designed for the 1964 World’s Fair by Gilmore D. Clarke. Though it looks impressive every time you drive by on the highway, up close it really takes on a new meaning. Representing the budding space race at the time of construction, to me it takes on an entirely new meaning these days. The entire borough of Queens is probably the most diverse area not just in New York City, but all of the United States. Perhaps even the world. Walking around on a beautiful spring day seeing people from all corners of the world barbecuing, riding bikes, skateboarding, playing soccer or even cricket reminded me that the planners of that World’s Fair chose very well indeed when they added the Unisphere to remind us we all live on this one planet.

The Unisphere

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Monochrome Mondays

Spring is officially here! Well I hope it is for most of you anyway. After being cooped up for much of the winter it is now finally time to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. I love going for long walks with my camera in hand. Where I live you never quite know what you will see. Old buildings, interesting signs or architectural details, or waterfront scenes. I love discovering all sorts of scenes like that. On one such walk a year or so ago, I found a little waterfront view near Astoria Park, in Queens. What made me grab my camera was the way the big clouds were slightly obscuring the sun, which caused some great sun beams on the water, together with the streak of sun glinting off the water and the silhouetted skyline of Manhattan in the distance. But sometimes happy accidents happen just as you are preparing to press the shutter release. And so it was that the two birds came swooping across on the left hand side, giving the photo a real sense of movement and life.

Hope you all are getting some nice weather wherever you are and taking advantage of it!

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Monochrome Mondays

Here we go with yet another Monochrome Mondays on this first day of Spring. Yesterday was a particularly nice day and I went for a walk down some different streets in our neighborhood. While snapping various photos I was reminded that photography does not always have to be about big, epic scale type photos of landscapes or action shots. Sometimes it can just be about ‘things’. Things that may on an ordinary day mean nothing to you, but then on another jump out at you as if to say ‘Take a picture of me.’ That is what happened yesterday. Our neighborhood is a mix of small warehouses and industry along with residential areas. As I rounded a corner of a street I don’t recall having walked on before I saw this storage yard with an entire fleet of small cranes. The kind with  those jumbo tires used on small construction sites. There was something about how the sunlight was glaring off the rows of them that made me want to take some shots. Thanks to my wife for coming up with the title, which really does suit it.

Also, on a technical note for the other photographers out there, this was among the first shots taken on my brand new camera! It is a Nikon D3400 with an 18-55mm lens. I’ll also be using my new 55-200mm and the nifty 50mm lens now regularly too. After 6 years the D3100 was starting to act up and be less reliable, so I’m very excited to have new equipment again!

Symphony In Metal

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Monochrome Mondays

Well we are just a few days away from March now, which is a sure sign of spring here. Speaking of signs (what a clever transition huh?), I have a thing for old signs like this one. No matter where you go in the city, you inevitably come across an old building that has a faded sign like this painted on the building itself. This particular one is around the corner from our apartment, and the building does not contain an Iron Works anymore. I’m not quite sure what is there actually, but whatever is there, I’m glad that the old sign remains in place for me to take photos of and preserve. So much changes in this world today, and I think that is why I like to seek out shots like this.

Iron Works

Iron Works

Monochrome Mondays

Well well…here we go with another Monday. A Monday that is dark, windy and cold, which follows a few days of snow, rain and ice here in New York City.  Though I actually took this photograph last month, it is a nice reminder of how beautiful the city can look when the snow starts to fall, transforming (temporarily) the dirt and the grime into something that shimmers instead once the snow starts to touch the ground. Monochrome somehow also seems to suit a snow covered scene especially well. This one comes from Rainey Park in Queens, and the buildings beyond the water are actually on Roosevelt Island, a very unique place in all of New York. Have a great Monday everyone!

Rainey Park Queens snowfall

Rainey Park Queens snowfall

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