April 11, 2016
Train In/Out: Fairfield Metro, CT
Miles walked: 8.8 (too many)
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1, m.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO, m.Zuiko 8mm Fisheye 1.8, tripod
DUMBO? It stands for "Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass." It's a very up and coming area, expensive, under construction, trendy and a mix of residents and tourists.
It was a very overcast, dreary morning in Connecticut when I set out for New York. My Weather app said New York would be cloudy, chance of rain. I trudged off with my winter coat, umbrella, tripod and 2 lenses along with personal items. I wrangled all this with my trusty old Eddie Bauer backpack and a large Bagolini satchel. Wasn't it a surprise when I got off the subway at City Hall and it was hot and sunny at the Brooklyn Bridge. Right away I had to stop and take off my sweater (and later my coat) and shove that into my crowded backpack. I had too much stuff with me. That's a challenge with photography, you want access to different lenses and equipment. Fear of missing out hits hard sometimes. But it was too much stuff. Lesson learned.
JOB POSTING: Wanted, Camera Caddy (similar to a golf caddy) to carry extra lenses, tripod, coats, etc. and traipse through NYC. Volunteer position but I will buy lunch. Apply below. ;)
I took the subway down to City Hall. I was going to go farther but on the subway I looked at the sign that shows what all the stops were and got confused because I thought this train went all the way into Brooklyn and would stop at Borough Hall. It probably did but I wasn't sure so I got off at a stop I knew and walked the bridge across. The bridge is still under construction which limits how good the images can be.
On this day I played with a number of photography techniques including: panning, using an ND filter, Live Composite (an Olympus feature), and Olympus art filters. Wanted to mix things up a bit, play with color, etc.
Commuting this way is fascinating when you come from rural Connecticut and need a car to get anywhere.
Nice to meet you.
Let's talk about locks. They are, of course, everywhere in the city. But it's trendy to now leave a lock on a fence, bridge, etc. Often with your name and date scrawled. Apparently it's also cool to leave earbuds, hair scrunchies and other things that twist and wrap.
I explore this phenomena on the Brooklyn Bridge:
Beyond the locks and hair ties is the Statue of Liberty.
The Liebers went ALL OUT!
I go back and forth between "oh, this is cute" and "wow, this looks like trash." Mostly I think it looks like trash.
These people were less fascinated with locks & hair ties and more engaged in photographing the bridge. I like how everyone is lined up taking photos.
I took the long way off the bridge. Had I noticed, I could have taken a set of stairs down into the DUMBO area, but I didn't notice. So I walked and walked and walked. Finally getting to a downtown area. Note to self, don't miss the stairs off the bridge because if you keep walking you are committed for a long ways, there's no escape.
I heard this weird noise above me. My first out in public drone! This picture is heavily cropped but you can see the drone. It hovered mostly in one place (perhaps taking pictures of me)? I find them creepy but I've seen some cool photography from drones, that part I like. But not the random hovering.
I think a mile+ out of my way, I made it down to the Brooklyn Park area.
At this point I'm starving (it's about 3pm) so I stop at Ignazzios. Pizza was good (very light though). But the cup of water I was given was nasty. Covered with finger prints and lipstick residue. 2 stars.
Ignazzios did have this cool bridge...umm, thing?
I wandered the DUMBO area, finding Jacques Torres chocolates. They are also in the food court of Grand Central (I noticed on my way out.)
My kind of political statement.
This was on my list of places to visit, powerHouse Books.
The little one on the right is holding onto a branch. I'm sure it was very important to her when she was awake. xo
m.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO @ 32mm
One of the well known areas in DUMBO is this iconic photo that millions have taken. When you stand in the middle of Washington Street (it's one way so not that dangerous), you can center the Empire State Building underneath the Manhattan Bridge.
What's interesting is this image will really vary depending on your focal length (meaning how zoomed in or wide your lens is). I did some experimenting for this page. I have been to this area once before and took this iconic shot. When I got home I realized I made a million mistakes including NOT CENTERING the Empire State Buidling carefully. So today I did my best to center it, and play with focal length to show how different this photo can be depending on where you stand and what lens and setting you use.
m.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO @ 38mm
I walked farther away and zoomed in a bit more here, from 32mm to 38mm. Notice how much bigger the Empire State Building looks!
m.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO @ 40mm
Now I've walked up to the next block and zoomed all the way to 40mm. The Empire State Building fills the arch below the bridge. However, I get more "building" in the photo, including more of the cream colored buildings in front of the brick buildings. 3 pics to show that what image you create is very different just by changing your location, lens choice and focal length.
iPhones are probably the worst camera to use to photograph that image above, the lens if very wide and if you zoom in it gets grainy.
The Pigeon (this is a favorite image of the day for me)
Selfie. I carefully replaced the pigeon with a young girl walking. And also a moment where I said "what the heck is all over my lens creating those splotches?"
Race for the flowers.
I won't be moving to the area anytime soon. OMG.
I came across this cool building with tons of little shops in it. Unfortunately you had to know to go in there, the stores didn't have street access except for the doors on either end to get in the hallway. I imagine it's a struggle to make it tucked away like that.
Inside the interesting shopping area. Cool photography!
Also in this shopping area, BBox Radio. They were on the air doing a live interview when I walked by.
Another favorite, nice light.
A mini library!
I tried to open it but books were itching to get out so I shut the door. Cool concept.
Another place I wanted to check out was the Brooklyn Roasting Company. Apparently it's in an old tobacco building. As I approached I saw the sign said there was a live broadcast going on with MSNBC covering the election. I figured this was an old sign.
No. Not an old sign. They are broadcasting from here all week. It was interesting because if you look in the monitor you can see that there are people sititng behind her (which are, of course the people to the right in this image). The background people seemed very staged.
These people seemed rivetted by the news crew being there.
Steam in action!
Loved the commentary.
There are a lot of brick and cobblestone roads in this area.
Probably not an OSHA certified technique.
Hmmm. The panning practice continues. There are parts of the bicyclist that are clear and in researching panning techniques online I think the bicyclist's sharpness is good for panning. He's "small" in the pic so hard to see. But on my large monitor he does look pretty good when I zoomed in. The background is not blurred enough. To be continued. It's fun to keep trying.
Finally made my way back over to the Brooklyn Park area to explore. Nice light filtering through the clouds.
Olympus art filter.
I have pretty good luck finding a bride on Mondays!
Perhaps a favorite of the day. 5 second exposure x 6 of them using Olympus Live Composite.
In black & white.
It was raining on the way back across the bridge. Didn't stay to do evening photography although that was a goal of the day. Between the rain and my feeling a bit freaked out about staying in Brooklyn by myself after dark made me head out. I actually talked to a police officer in the afternoon who said it was very safe to be in the park at night, that it's patrolled between 3pm and midnight. I just wasn't feeling it (yet). I suppose part of this journey is getting over fear. But it's also about being reasonable with safety concerns. Plenty more trips to try evening photography.
OK, I cheated on this image and took it when I arrived. I knew I would be tired when I got back and I didn't want to forget. And indeed I was super tired (almost 9 miles walked!), plus I went in later and left later (7:30pm train). I didn't even go downstairs to buy a paper.
Leave me a comment below to say hello. :)
Until the next Magic Monday!