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Old Nov 19, 2009, 9:37 AM   #1
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Default Fountain at Bryant Park

I took this picture of the fountain at Bryant Park this morning. I only have my gorillapod with me so the camera is pretty much sitting on the floor.

In the holiday season they put stalls all over the park so vendors can sell overpriced merchandise to tourists . (Ah, that’s OK. Memories are what matters when shopping at these places. It’s nowhere near as romantic buying the same stuff in Chinatown with all the haggling involved...) As a photography enthusiast I think they are a huge distraction -- I just want to take pictures of a quiet park -- but otherwise I think they’re a great idea. They make the season merrier.

They also put an ice skating rink at the center of the park that is free and open to the public. In the distance is the back of the New York Public Library building on Fifth Avenue. (Gothic-style? Victorian-style? I have to look that up. But for now you know what building I’m pointing at...) Rain is forecast for today hence the foreboding clouds.

I think clouds are great, great, great stuff. In a city like New York where the sky is largely obstructed by the tall skyscrapers above, clouds are sometimes the only reason I shoot a landscape scene in the first place. Just like the one you are looking at now.

OK. Enough blabber. I’d appreciate any technical, aesthetic, and whatnot gotchas. Thank you for looking! (And reading!)


Last edited by vvcarpio; Nov 23, 2009 at 9:41 AM. Reason: Fixed the CA that Rob W pointed out in #4 below.
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Old Nov 19, 2009, 10:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by vvcarpio View Post
....I only have my gorillapod with me so the camera is pretty much sitting on the floor.
Thank god for that - your low shooting position is great! It gives the picture added punch and interest. It makes the fountain look great (almost 3-D!!) and let's us see the DOF of your camera / lens - and they look great too.

I like it! It's a shot that is instantly interesting, because of the different perspectives. A good spread ov values, as well.


You really made that fountain look great! Is that your kit-lens on the Alpa350?

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Old Nov 19, 2009, 11:06 AM   #3
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Thanks, Walter! Yes, it's the 18-70mm kit lens that came with A350.

Before this ultra-contrast HDR rendition, I actually played around with the settings you mentioned before -- eye-catching tone-map, 0.0 vivid-color, and 0.70 saturation -- but quickly found out this photo is almost monochromatic as to be a good test for those values. It doesn't have deep green grass or bright blue skies. But at least I will remember those values next time now that I've tried them.

It's interesting you mention "spread of values". I did not use my camera's auto-bracketing feature (which I've always used in the past) that only goes up to +/-0.7 ev. I manually set the speeds this time which DPHDR "guessed" as +0.96ev and -1.90ev.
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Old Nov 19, 2009, 11:08 AM   #4
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Really nice shot and i do like the low angle. Is that a bit of CA around the
building edge because i've never seen it gold before ?.
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Old Nov 19, 2009, 11:31 AM   #5
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Thanks, Rob!

Yes I think it's CA. It's slightly hinted at the originals and I guess increased by HDR.
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Old Nov 19, 2009, 4:46 PM   #6
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Great shot and I too like the low angle. I carry a gorilla pod with me all the time and never used it yet. Maybe I will start after seeing this shot.
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Old Nov 19, 2009, 9:12 PM   #7
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Thanks, Bynx!

At noon I went inside the Library (that classic looking building) where a sign said no flash photography. It didn't say anything about gorillapods (or tripods) so I mounted it on the floor. Security waved at me and said, "No tripods." So I straightened up the legs and used it like a monopod and I wasn't stopped. Go figure...

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Old Nov 20, 2009, 12:18 AM   #8
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They stopped you using a gorilla pod by calling it a tripod? Id call a Gorilla pod a 3 legged extension of the camera rather than an actualy tripod that is large and cumbersome. Or did I misunderstood what happened? A library belongs to the people not an individual or a company. I can maybe understand no flash but whats with the no tripod policy. Especially since you cant use flash. I hope you were able to get some good inside shots.
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Old Nov 20, 2009, 1:36 AM   #9
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The life in the States certainly has changed after 911. Now we can't even use a tripod to take pictures in public places like this.
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Old Nov 20, 2009, 7:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
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They stopped you using a gorilla pod by calling it a tripod? Id call a Gorilla pod a 3 legged extension of the camera rather than an actualy tripod that is large and cumbersome. Or did I misunderstood what happened? A library belongs to the people not an individual or a company. I can maybe understand no flash but whats with the no tripod policy. Especially since you cant use flash. I hope you were able to get some good inside shots.
Yes, you have it right, Bynx. First was me putting down the gorillapod and camera on the floor, then the security who checks bags at the entrance waving at me, then me saying "I'm not using flash", then him saying, "No tripods".

So without changing my squatting posture I straightened the legs and used it as a monopod and he left me alone. That's when I thought how silly it was. I wasn't in anybody's way -- the main lobby was cavernous and there was no one within 15-20 feet of me. I thought maybe I was just getting picked on -- I get that a lot. Skinny, yes, but I don't look or act anything like Woody Allen yet that's how I think I get treated sometimes .

My shots in the lobby were all no good -- they were blurry. However on the third floor where the main research halls were there was no security. Only the librarians were around. So I was able to use my gorillapod a lot. I'll post pictures later.
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