Posts tagged “New York

Rainy Days

In a world of six billion people, it’s easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives, and their reactions in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain. Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make can have far-reaching consequences. You can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world.

This was shot in New York on a cold and rainy day in Central Park – you can tell it was late in the season by the subtle colors of the leaves of the trees. There is a calm to this image – one can almost hear the rain drops dancing across the water!

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Hearts Locked

A tradition that was born in Europe has migrated to the US! Amorous couples seal their devotion by attaching a padlock to a bridge and throw the key into the waters below! I am not certain what the Municipal Crews think of this practice, but for now, makes for a cool shot!

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The Dark Knight Awaits

We recently went to see The Dark Knight Rises and it struck us that we think we discovered where he is hiding out! It is in the farthest alcove of St. Johns in New York! The church was vacant except for a few visitors that weekday so was perfect for some amazing uncluttered compositions!

This is an HDR shot, but we did not use a conventional tripod to execute the brackets, but rather a flexible little contraption from Joby called a Gorilla Pod!  These things are ultra portable for travel and better yet, inconspicuous so as not to draw attention from “The No-Tripod Enforcers”

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New York by way of the Brooklyn Bridge….

This image of the Brooklyn Bridge was taken during March of last year- surprisingly at a time when most of the people on the bridge were completely out of site- as you can see- sometimes patience makes the shot!

Holy Batman! …the Warrrior Spirit

“We impose meaning on the chaos of our lives. We create form, morality,
order. It’s a choice we have to make every second of every minute of
every day.” …Batman

Though we may use a single set of characteristics to define ourselves, when we feel called to explore the way of the warrior, we may feel a strong sense of dismay because we have no wish to disavow ourselves of our softer side. Yet embracing the warrior spirit is not a matter of denying gentleness or compassion. We can exhibit strength without sacrificing tenderness precisely because both are elements of the self and both have a role to play in the complexity of existence.  The warrior spirit, when allowed free rein, is overpowering and all-consuming. If it is to be an affirmative force in our lives, it must be tempered with wisdom and moderation. Our inner warriors are ready to react instantly to conflict, chaos, and confusion, while nonetheless remaining committed to a path of goodwill and fairness. They lie at the root of our dedication to integrity but do not drive us to use our strength to coerce others into adopting our values.

Your inner warrior is one source of strength you can draw upon in times of great need. When you employ your warrior spirit thoughtfully, it manifests itself as clarity, focus, determination, courage, constancy, and an unflappable zest for life. The warrior views roadblocks as evolutionary opportunities and is not afraid to pursue a purpose to its climax. There is more than enough room in the existence of the warrior for softness and benevolence, and the warrior’s willingness to stand up for their beliefs can aid you greatly as you strive to incorporate these ideals into your existence.

This was shot inside Cathedral of Saint John, The Divine, in NYC, also nicknamed, “Saint John, The Unfinished”. NYC argues that this is the largest Cathedral and Anglican Church in the world and the fourth largest Christian Church. There also is some controversy surrounding the Church as it was designed and built by Freemasons (conspiracy theories surround everything). For example, on the western facade of the building, stonemasons have sculpted numerous scenes that seem oddly out-of-place for a Cathedral, the most striking one is the chilling depiction of the destruction of New York city and its landmarks. Hmmm…

This statue of the Archangel Michael in the Chapel of St. Boniface, taken from this angle has a bit of a Gothic feel to it, somewhat Batmanish arguably. Surprisingly, NYC churches have not issues with photographers carrying tripods, but after our encounters with the “No-Tripod_Police” in Italy, we only packed a small support made by Joby , called a Gorilla Pod. This three armed tripod is a flexible little contraption that allows you to secure your DSLR on top virtually anything – really handy for the travelling shooter. Shooting in RAW (or NEFF with Nikon) format, we were able to make some adjustments for the harsh lighting conditions and uneven White Balance inside this dark/bright alcove in post processing. Shooting RAW allows much greater flexibility compared to JPG, and though one may complain that the files are just too big, memory is cheap…going back and reshooting, not so cheap!

Rushing through Life

Rushing through life from one event to another, is not the answer to being productive and content. In fact, it would seem that the more we rush, the more mistakes we make, and our lives become more and more fragmented, even unmanageable.You would think with the amazing time-saving devices such as computers, on-line shopping, pick up areas for take out orders, we would have all this time on our hands. But as one minute frees up, we stuff two more minutes of activities in it.

For many, we are in a perpetual feeling of rushing through life – as if every event were just something we had to check off on our life ‘to do’ list. We didn’t remember it; we didn’t love it; but we checked it off and got it done. What a crazy way to go through life. Commit to ending the rush to get through life. Stop and sit a spell. Notice things around you. Get reconnected. Do fewer things, but do each a little better. Catch your breath. Life is not a race or an event to check off on your ‘to do’ list. Life is to be lived and you can’t do that running at breakneck speed.  As author Sherwin Nuland says in his book The Art of Aging, “ We use our 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to learn how to live successfully and well in our 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.” So, manage life now to not only have healthier years in the future, but to also be truly present today. Once this day is gone, we don’t get it back.

This is a shot of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge in New York taken from The DUMBO side looking towards Manhattan. We were “On-the-Deck” to take this shot and waited patiently for all of the bike and foot traffic to pass. Although to some, this might have seemed an eternity, it was rather fun and relaxing lying in the middle of this bridge as the world of commuters and tourists rushed by us. On a side note, we heard many colorful invectives from both tourists and locals alike (…like “You are a Ignorant Donkey” or something of equal meaning). Oh well. As photographers we often put ourselves in strange places, contort our bodies like pretzels, just to get the shot we were envisioning. Here, the effect of motion makes the image – you may notice that at the end of the dividing stripe, everything is clear and in focus, the rest just being a blur of movement. You may want to try this by securing your camera to a tripod, using a slow shutter speed and zooming out while the shutter is open!

The Illusion of Time

“Time keeps on ticking, into the Future”

Is time real, or is change just a kind of optical illusion resting on a deeper unchanging reality? The true nature of time engages all of our endeavors. We have all experienced time seeming to fly and then drag based on our feelings and circumstances, just as a Child waiting for a Birthday…it never comes and then passes swiftly. This is the paradox of Linear Time – are we caught in its current and flow helplessly into the future?

How disjointedly time seems to flow, passing in a blur sometimes with single images standing out more clearly than others. And then, at other times, every second was significant and etched itself in my mind. This long exposure of the hustle and bustle of New York‘s Grand Central Station illustrates visually some aspects of the illusion of time. Taken with a Nikon D90, stabilized by hand on an upper balcony, a 6 second shutter speed captured the movement of the commuters and tourists in time…some static, while others mere ghosts.

In the domains of spirituality, humans have also asked if there is more, or less, to time than ticking clocks or the march from birth to death. It is often the “now” which takes precedence in spiritual endeavor. Buddhists, with their emphasis on meditation, have long seen the unspooling of time as an artifact of the mind. In Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, Shunryu Suzuki tells us:

“You may say, ‘I must do something this afternoon’ but actually there is no ‘this afternoon’ … At one o’clock you will eat your lunch. To eat your lunch is, itself, one o’clock.”

Christian writers such as Meister Eckhart have taken a similar stance:

“There exists only the present instant … There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now … “

Science however has its own take on time’s illusion.

For decades physics inverted the problem, holding the now to be something less than real. In relativity theory the past, present and future already exist in the four-dimensional continuum of space-time. You think next Tuesday hasn’t occurred yet. But in relativity, every event in your life defines a single 4-D object called your world-line and it’s all there already. Freaky, huh?

More radical ideas reject the notion of time altogether, taking each moment as separate and eternal. Perhaps the now is all that exists, the past and future merely illusions. Or, perhaps, it is the now that’s an illusion and below the appearance of change is a timeless substrate that is perfect in its eternal repose.

One thing is, however, certain. Looking across the broad field of human endeavor — science, art and religion — time and the question of its illusion remains essential, and essentially unresolved.