Monday, July 24, 2017

There's all kinds of candy stores...

...from a photographer's notebook

What does it take to turn a New York Subway-loving photographer into a kid in a candy store?

Walking into the Fulton Street Transit Center one June day was all it took for me, as I looked up to see all of the route emblems for the many Subway lines this modern underground rail nexus now integrates. The view here is from a street level entrance, but the distinctive shopping and subway station complex can also be reached via the underground concourse leading from the Oculus at World Trade Center, which also links the Subway lines here to the modern WTC PATH terminal with its trains to points in New Jersey.

Not sure what the symbol at the far right, next to the 5 Train signifies. But that’s all right – It’ll take several trips originating from the various tracks and levels of this “candy store” before that even becomes a concern ;-)

Speaking of candy stores, methinks I hit upon a great idea – M&Ms for Subway Lovers. Yeah, I ran it by them and got a form letter from "[my] friends at Mars" to the effect they don't take product suggestions coming from outside their Marketing Department. That's OK, Mars, I'll still eat your crunchy shelled little chocolates...

And speaking of original ideas, my attention was so focused on the M&M's...err, Subway "bullets," that I didn't notice the "Subway Library Selfie Contest" poster to the left of the escalators while I was shooting. I doubt I would have looked more closely while there, as selfies are not exactly a passion of mine. But in editing my shots, I found myself wondering just what a "Subway Library" could be and why it would spawn such a contest.

Turns out I missed something special. It's over now - the contest, that is - so put away your selfie stick, but imagine this...just one of those wondrous things that NYC manages to do with such panache - and scale. The New York Public Library thinks straphangers should have something good to read while tearing through tunnels or cruising to Coney (to eat baloney on a roll?) and is providing free e-books. The special train will run on the Sixth Avenue Line as an F train or on the Eighth Avenue Line as an E.

And, for its part, the MTA has "wrapped" a special subway train in vivid "Subway Library" colors. OK, we've all seen "wrapped" rapid transit or city buses, but, as I was saying about style - and this is what I must say I was sorry I missed! - the inside of the cars is "wrapped" to resemble the Rose Reading Room of the Public Library - complete with skylight and "shelves" of books. Hope they included a stern librarian "shooshing" the noisy ones yammering into their i-nuisances...

Come to think of it, I think I would take a selfie with her!

Happy reading...and subway riding.

©2017 Steve Ember
P.S. You can ride with me and the cameras on some favorite MTA lines by clicking here (and then "transferring" to other trains by leafing through my NYC images).

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Friday, July 21, 2017

When it’s Christmas Morning on the Night Before Summer...

...from a photographer's notebook
Empire State Building from Madison Avenue

No matter how many years are on the odometer, I am delighted to say that I never run out of “Kid on Christmas Morning” moments when I’m in New York with a camera or three.

And when one of those cameras happens to be my first full-frame D-SLR, the exquisite Canon EOS 5D MkIV – and so glad I waited – purchased especially for this trip and its planned twilight open helicopter flight (let’s call it an early Christmas present I’d no intention of waiting for Christmas Morning to open!)…

I suppose this image, taken on the night before summer, might serve as Exhibit-A. For at the end of my first day exploring new territory in the city, enjoying for the first time Madison Square Park, a few blocks south of my hotel on Madison Avenue, and a nice dinner at a sidewalk café along the north edge of the park, I’m walking back uptown and look up to see the iconic spire of the Empire State Building, lighted in some of my favorite colors against a crystal clear night sky.

Yes, Santa Claus is coming to town – Heck, he’s already landed that sleigh with a great big bundle of megapixels inside.

The ESB was captured here through my trusty quarter-century-young 28-80mm f/2.8-4 L-Series lens at its 80mm setting on the new 5D. The photograph (see it larger here) is available in archival gallery-quality prints in several sizes, and can be ordered on several stocks including metallic media. Please be in touch for specifics.

It was actually a fine afternoon and evening for viewing and shooting iconic spires in Manhattan, notably also the gold-domed roofs of both the New York Life Building and Met Life Tower along the east side of Madison Square Park, both against afternoon- and twilight-blue skies on this photo-perfect day... Let me share these with you soon.

©2017 Steve Ember

P.S: That 28-80L lens, incidentally, was purchased back when my EOS-1 film camera and its “junior partner,” the lovely little RT were new and has since meshed its shiny little gold electrical contacts with those on my EOS-3 and 1N RS (big brother to the RT). It was nice (but not surprising) to see it got along splendidly in NYC with the full-frame digital EOS.

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