Week 21 (12/23/2013 – 12/29/2013): DUMBO, Brooklyn
Picture taken on 12/28/2013 at 11AM
Being an admitted cornball, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work “hoot” into this week’s title. This Saturday marked the first time that I participated in what is often referred to as a “photowalk” in the photography world. The idea was hatched by two of my friends, one a photography enthusiast like myself, and the other a professional photographer. We kicked around some location ideas and eventually settled on DUMBO since it’s one of the more interesting and subject rich locations in the New York area. DUMBO, located in Brooklyn, stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Before Saturday I had never been to DUMBO so it was nice to finally cross it off my location bucket list. The area can get touristy not only because of the beautiful views but also because it’s home to the famous “Grimaldi’s Pizza”. Though not the original, there is a Grimaldi’s located in Hoboken so standing in line for pizza was not part of Saturday’s agenda.
Shortly after arriving on location I spotted what I consider to be the classic DUMBO picture. Although I didn’t want to use this as my featured picture, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take the shot. We spent the morning walking around discussing different techniques, equipment and comparing pictures. After walking around the east river’s shore line we decided to head into the streets to see if we could find some lunch and perhaps some graffiti. Post lunch we stumbling upon the brick wall that contained this weeks picture. All three of us worked the wall individually to find what we thought would be the best way to photograph it. It was interesting seeing how other photographers approached shooting the same subject and how each of us had our own unique view. After a few minutes of working on our own we compared pictures and tried our hand at duplicating each others shots. We continued doing this for a little while then eventually decided to call it a day. While driving back to New York City we came to the conclusion that this shouldn’t be our first and only photowalk. In the coming week’s expect more posts chronicling different “photowalks” and if you’re interested in participating in one shoot me an email.
This week I learned less from my own shooting and more from the discussions and tips that were traded during the photowalk. One of the biggest takeaways, which might come as a surprise to anyone familiar with photography, was the concept of spot metering. Prior to this weekend I heard the term before but never really understood what it meant or where it would be applicable. In a nutshell spot metering allows you to lock in the exposure you want then recompose and shoot your picture. I didn’t get any good photo example for spot metering this weekend but you can bet I’ll be experimenting more with this in the future and do a post on it.
Another subject that came up worth noting was white balance and the importance of doing it in camera. I always thought that I could do white balancing during editing and there was minimal to no trade offs. This however was not entirely true. Essentially although you can fix white balance after shooting, by getting the correct white balance in camera I’ll have more flexibility in editing later. I mainly shoot landscape and outdoors pictures, so luckily white balance hasn’t come into play that much for me thus far. In 2014 my goal is to take more pictures of people so expect more posts on white balancing now that the subject is a lot less murky.