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Old Oct 5, 2010, 9:28 AM   #1
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Default Topaz Detail on New York Public Library

We've had nothing but rain the past two days and most of last week so I decided to go indoors for some shooting. These pictures are taken yesterday at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue.

"Often referred to as the 'main branch,' the Beaux-Arts landmark building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street houses outstanding research collections in the humanities and social sciences as well as a circulating children’s collection." (source: http://www.nypl.org/locations/schwarzman)

The description sounds rather intimidating (to me at least) like I have no business being there unless I'm doing serious postgraduate or doctoral research but really to most people it's just a free wi-fi hotspot right there in the middle of Manhattan. Anyone can bring a laptop there (including non-NY residents) to surf the Net for free in its grandest of grand rooms, the Main Reading Room on the third floor. You can't bring in coffee but no Starbucks branch would match the exuberance felt when visiting there.

(Lest we forget, NYPL is run mostly by philanthopists, which NYC has always had plenty of throughout its history.)

I've taken pictures of the NYPL building before and processed them as HDR. This time, however, I added Topaz Detail in the treatment which alleviated a lot (actually, all) of the detail fine-tuning.

#1) The south wing of the Main Reading Room on the third floor. Actually called "The Deborah, Jonathan F. P., Samuel Priest, and Adam Raphael Rose Main Reading Room", its north wing looks about the same but photography there isn't allowed.


#2) Any sort of tripod, including my vaunted and venerated gorillapod, isn't allowed so I found a marble pedestal on which I can prop my camera. I wanted to take at least 5 shots to be processed as HDR. This is the south stairs of Astor Hall -- the main entrance facing Fifth Avenue -- leading to the second floor. People were walking up and down the stairs while I took the shots but slow shutter speeds+HDR eliminated them.


#3) Astor Hall seen from the south stairs. Again, that's a busy entrance where security checks incoming guests' bags but slow shutter speeds+HDR leave almost no trace of them.


Thank you for looking. C&C welcome.
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 2:54 PM   #2
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Hi Vv.
Great stuff, 3 is my Fave. it makes me think of tomb raider, Like If I look hard enough Ill uncover some ancient secret artifacts.
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 2:57 PM   #3
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Wow! Love your indoor shots.

Best regards/Daniel
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 5:59 PM   #4
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Amazing, I would've sworn that was a cathedral not a library. The level of detail in those shots almost overwhelms the eye. Fantastic place and fantastic pics, well done indeed.
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Old Oct 14, 2010, 6:49 PM   #5
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You said: (Lest we forget, NYPL is run mostly by philanthopists, which NYC has always had plenty of throughout its history.)

It reminded me of something. My daughter, Lisa Guerrero, is the chief investigative reporter for TV's "Inside Edition". She just did a report on the salaries at NYPL. A number of staff making $200K and more...plus the director gets over $800K as I recall. People on the street who were interviewed were appalled. One guy laughed and asked: "Do you think they're hiring?"

Good pix, as usual, BTW
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Old Oct 15, 2010, 9:34 AM   #6
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NYPL on Fifth (or the Schwarzman Building, to differentiate from the Mid-Manhattan branch just across the street) I think is very craftily laid out. You do feel like walking in an ancient building with many secret passageways. I was easily confused coming in through the side entrance on 42nd as I came to an apparent dead-end -- a sign said “Staff Only” -- having missed the turn for the elevators. I tried to run after a tourist-family ahead of me who seemed confused, too, but it was too late. They already made it back out on the street. I only hoped they rounded Fifth Avenue toward the main entrance because the NYPL, as you mentioned, is a sight to see -- and for free at that.

Walter, I googled “NYPL staff salaries” and the first hit I see (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m.../ai_n17190572/) is written by someone who doesn’t seem to take a strong stand on the issue and instead might even be justifying it. The NYPL’s top exec was apparently hired from a well-known college presumably already making an impressive salary. Still, maybe if the NYPL’s board searched hard enough, they might find the likes of the reluctant but top American businessman at the time that ran the Marshall Plan.

In any case, I added that comment in just in case someone takes me seriously and tries to bring Starbucks coffee in...

Thanks all, for the compliments. I didn't think this post would re-surface. Good thing I still have my NYPL photos in my portable HD.

#4) Same as #1 but with a little bit of the ceiling.
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Old Oct 15, 2010, 10:22 AM   #7
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Here is a video from Inside Edition's Web site -- my daughter's report on NYPL salaries.

http://insideedition.com/news/5157/i...-salaries.aspx
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