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Old Nov 24, 2009, 8:01 AM   #1
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Default Central Park at Night

My wife and I, with our son coming along for the ride, went to New York City on Saturday hoping to take photos of Central Park at sundown. But because of the traffic we arrived late as usual.

We managed to shoot Columbus Circle while there was still light, but by the time we crossed 59th Street to Central Park it was already dark. So we ended up shooting night scenes instead.

To not get bored, our 16 year-old son walked to Nintendo World about fifteen blocks away to play video games. I gave him directions which although he could remember quite easily (streets in Manhattan are numbered in a grid pattern), he wrote down on his Blackberry just in case. After many trips there since he was a baby, it was the first time we let him walk the streets of Manhattan alone.

Three and a half hours and two hundred rolls of film I mean photos later, my wife and I linked up with our son at Nintendo World. Asking him how it was, he said it felt different walking the streets of Manhattan by himself.

I think what he meant to say was, he enjoyed it.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. C&C welcome. Thanks for looking!

#1. Fountains at Columbus Circle.


#2. Plants at Columbus Circle.


#3. View of buildings on 59th Street from Umpire Rock at Central Park.


#4. Bethesda Terrace at "The Heart of Central Park". Homeless woman sits on the left.


#5. The Mall at Central Park. Scenes from Big Daddy, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Maid in Manhattan were shot here.


#6. Skating Rink at Central Park.


#7. The Pond at Central Park.


#8. The Plaza Hotel at Central Park.
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 8:09 AM   #2
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Most of the time photography is the capture of light. And you have done that splendidly here. You make the place look pretty clean.
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 8:29 AM   #3
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I was actually quite concerned about light bulbs. I'd like to get one of those light-to-carry netbooks so I can view them while still on location instead of the camera's tiny LCD screen and re-shoot if necessary.

Thanks a lot, Bynx!
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 8:51 AM   #4
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Very nice picks and pp.
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 9:54 AM   #5
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Default Well done, vvcarpio!

Woww - vvcarpio!

You are spoiling us with so many wonderful and near perfect pictures her - I am speechless and at the same time slightly jealous of your shots, the way you handled composition, crops and the ever so difficult white-balance challenge. You are really making progress.

For a country-lad (old fart, really...) from rural Norway, this series is specially interesting and slightly exotic.

I am no qualified critique at all, having started phptographing seriously only a year ago myself, but I will tell you my thoughts about each one of them.


#1 - Watch your horizon! First thing you look out for is a slanted horizon (you can use the neon shop-signs in the background as level). Other than that, my first thought was;"How did he avoid getting the camera wet?". Beautiful colors, the light-play in the water and the best bit is the half-circle of the fountain-ledge stopping precisely where it should (bottom, right corner) where it gives most impact on perspective and direction for the eye to follow.

From the EXIF I see that your focal length in this shot was 24mm - is that your kit-lens (I thought Sony's kit-lens started at 28mm?) or another wideangle-lens?


#2 - Nice, but again, slanted horizon (not level). Nice handled white-balance! You can exactly see wher your DOF of your kit-lens lies at f 5.6


#3 - Buildings at 59th Street: Beautiful arranged and very good exposed. Should I be nit-picking, I would step one step to the left and lowered the camera just one bit, to get the moon clear of the trees branches, and may-be dodged the bright yellow neon sign top left, as it steals some attention from the moon (which is nicely exposed, by the way).


Now #4 is my favorite!! Just beautifully composed, shot and exposed, but alas the horizon is not quite level (easy to correct in PP). The picture is such a nice collection of different lights, values and colors. The camera was placed perfect to get the maximum perspective into the underground of the terrace with all those lovely columns. Amazing, vvcarpio! Well done.


#5 - The Mall: very nice take. I remember Kramer vs. Kramer and (think) I can feel some deja v there, yes! Beautiful trees and perfect perspective with the street-lights and railings dissapearing into the vanishing point!


#6 - Skating Rink: Beautiful! All those different values and lights with each their own colors. The trees standing out proud and the willows still full of leaves catching the light beutifully, at the same time the motion-blur of the skaters giving the whole picture a special atmosphere. This is my second favorite!


#7 - The pond: Picturing trees without foliage is difficult, specially at night! I like the contrast of the tall, white building against the night-sky. With an exposure-time of 15 seconds its impossible not to get blurred tree-branches even in a slight breeze.


#8 - It's a WHOWSER! IMO a very good, may-be your best in this series, besides Bethesda Terrace. I cannot make up my mind as to which one is the better of the two. Simply a substantial and beautiful old and elegant building with its magnificent rows and columns of lighted windows.

The building itself flood-lighted from below (and some places almost burned out white...) its fassade loosing the light as you look upwards to the sky, which is perfectly exposed, by the way, with stars twinkling up there. Very good.

Good thing you cropped where you did, just above the ground-floor thus giving the picture an atmosphere of calm. I am not shure what the cut corner of the dark building behind the hotel does to the picture, but the hotel itself is very nicely pictured with an interesting and powerful perspective for the viewer! Well done!



From what I have seen her and of your previous work, it makes me really courious as to also investigate the Sony-range for my possible future dSLR. Until today, I thought the battle (within me...) would stand between the Nikon D90 and the Panasonic G1 (GH1 if I win the lottery...!) for me, but now I have to consider another brand as well.

Your doing, vvcarpio!
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 10:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Very nice picks and pp.
Thanks, Ordo!
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 10:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Walter_S View Post
Woww - vvcarpio!

You are spoiling us with so many wonderful and near perfect pictures her - I am speechless and at the same time slightly jealous of your shots, the way you handled composition, crops and the ever so difficult white-balance challenge. You are really making progress.

For a country-lad (old fart, really...) from rural Norway, this series is specially interesting and slightly exotic.

I am no qualified critique at all, having started phptographing seriously only a year ago myself, but I will tell you my thoughts about each one of them.

#1 - Watch your horizon! First thing you look out for is a slanted horizon (you can use the neon shop-signs in the background as level). Other than that, my first thought was;"How did he avoid getting the camera wet?". Beautiful colors, the light-play in the water and the best bit is the half-circle of the fountain-ledge stopping precisely where it should (bottom, right corner) where it gives most impact on perspective and direction for the eye to follow.

From the EXIF I see that your focal length in this shot was 24mm - is that your kit-lens (I thought Sony's kit-lens started at 28mm?) or another wideangle-lens?


#2 - Nice, but again, slanted horizon (not level). Nice handled white-balance! You can exactly see wher your DOF of your kit-lens lies at f 5.6


#3 - Buildings at 59th Street: Beautiful arranged and very good exposed. Should I be nit-picking, I would step one step to the left and lowered the camera just one bit, to get the moon clear of the trees branches, and may-be dodged the bright yellow neon sign top left, as it steals some attention from the moon (which is nicely exposed, by the way).


Now #4 is my favorite!! Just beautifully composed, shot and exposed, but alas the horizon is not quite level (easy to correct in PP). The picture is such a nice collection of different lights, values and colors. The camera was placed perfect to get the maximum perspective into the underground of the terrace with all those lovely columns. Amazing, vvcarpio! Well done.


#5 - The Mall: very nice take. I remember Kramer vs. Kramer and (think) I can feel some deja v there, yes! Beautiful trees and perfect perspective with the street-lights and railings dissapearing into the vanishing point!


#6 - Skating Rink: Beautiful! All those different values and lights with each their own colors. The trees standing out proud and the willows still full of leaves catching the light beutifully, at the same time the motion-blur of the skaters giving the whole picture a special atmosphere. This is my second favorite!


#7 - The pond: Picturing trees without foliage is difficult, specially at night! I like the contrast of the tall, white building against the night-sky. With an exposure-time of 15 seconds its impossible not to get blurred tree-branches even in a slight breeze.


#8 - It's a WHOWSER! IMO a very good, may-be your best in this series, besides Bethesda Terrace. I cannot make up my mind as to which one is the better of the two. Simply a substantial and beautiful old and elegant building with its magnificent rows and columns of lighted windows.

The building itself flood-lighted from below (and some places almost burned out white...) its fassade loosing the light as you look upwards to the sky, which is perfectly exposed, by the way, with stars twinkling up there. Very good.

Good thing you cropped where you did, just above the ground-floor thus giving the picture an atmosphere of calm. I am not shure what the cut corner of the dark building behind the hotel does to the picture, but the hotel itself is very nicely pictured with an interesting and powerful perspective for the viewer! Well done!



From what I have seen her and of your previous work, it makes me really courious as to also investigate the Sony-range for my possible future dSLR. Until today, I thought the battle (within me...) would stand between the Nikon D90 and the Panasonic G1 (GH1 if I win the lottery...!) for me, but now I have to consider another brand as well.

Your doing, vvcarpio!
Thanks, Walter!

Yes, horizon has been a problem for me. Sometimes, even when my pp software tells me it's level, I insist it's not. For the shots above however, I think I only forced my own leveling on #4 (which you say is your favorite). Looking at it again today, I can see I was wrong -- as usual .

I don't remember what the specs of my kit lens -- I also thought it starts at 28mm and thought 24mm on the EXIF was weird -- so I looked online. I'm pretty positive now it's 18-70mm.

The moon does appear to be in front of a tree branch... I remember having it between two branches but I played around with various settings forgetting to recompose since -- alas! -- the moon isn't stationary.

For #4, the homeless woman was initially standing hidden behind one of the columns. I thought she was doing it on purpose after seeing me. So I moved a little to the left to show most of her. But by the time I started taking pictures, she sat where she is sitting now, fully exposed.

For the skating rink photo, I used DPHDR's anti-ghosting tool on the ice skating rink foreground. Otherwise, I think all the skaters were removed (or very faint and ghostly I can't remember). So you can say the top half of the picture is HDR'ed while the bottom half isn't.

For the Plaza Hotel, I was thinking I should have moved back some more to include the ground (which had lots of crowd and some horse-drawn carriages -- and the cut corner-top of the adjacent building) because my wide angle couldn't cover it. Thanks for making me see it another way, that is, a picture of calm.

Those are very wonderful compliments. I don't think I'd get over them -- ever .
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 2:46 PM   #8
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Outstanding work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really enjoyed looking at each one of these beautiful photos!!

Bob
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 3:32 PM   #9
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Thank you, bhammitt!
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Old Nov 24, 2009, 3:37 PM   #10
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...But by the time I started taking pictures, she sat where she is sitting now, fully exposed....
And lucky you!
It's perfect! This homless woman sits there like an icon inside all this golden light. It almos feels sacred the way she is placed in the picture.

BTW, owing you an apology. The #4 is not very far off level. It depends on where you measure.

Like something out of 1001 nights or some illustration of a temple in anciant 'somewhere'. You wouldn't think this is New York?
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