Week 2 (8/11/2013 – 8/17/2013): Corner of 6th/42nd Bryant Park, New York City
Picture taken: 8/14/2013 at 5:50PM
If you were to ask me what are my favorite locations in New York City, Bryant Park would absolutely be in my top five. Although I pass the park almost every day (during my commute to work) I don’t always have the time to stop and enjoy everything it has to offer. If you’ve spent any amount of time in the park you know it’s a very busy place filled with a diverse group of people. It’s safe to say there is an activity for almost anyone, year round. One part of the park that I never explored was the New York Public Library. Yes, for those of you that know me I went into the library, voluntarily! No I did not borrow any books BUT I did have fun checking out the amazing architecture throughout the building. At the start of my visit, my plan was to get a picture of the “Rose Main Reading Room” however that didn’t come out as I hoped. A picture with the 35mm didn’t do the room justice (trust me, Google it) you really need a wide-angle lens, so I decided not to use that picture for this post.
After exploring the library, I took my adventure outside. In the heart of the park there were hundreds of people out enjoying the beautiful 70 degree sunny weather. Both of the park’s restaurants were buzzing and the lawn was littered with people hanging out next to the towering movie screen sitting on the west side of the lawn. In case you don’t know, HBO has a film festival that runs every Monday during the summer. The festival makes for a great dinner and a movie idea, but those kind of tips would need a whole other blog so I’ll leave it at that.
After doing a quick walk-through of the park one thing that immediately caught my eye was how most of the buildings surrounding the park were picking up great reflections of one another. A reflection shot usually makes for an interesting and unique photo so I decided this would be the perfect idea for this weeks post.
There weren’t a lot of technical intricacies to this week’s photo other than timing. Prior to going to Bryant Park I knew when the sun would be at the right angle (no pun intended) for some nice shots and maybe even a good reflection picture. I use an APP on my iPhone called “The Photographer’s Ephemeris” which tells me the angle of the sun based on time/day. If you’re looking to use the sun as a part of your picture or get a reflection shot I highly recommend using this application when planning your shot.
One composition concept that I attempted to use at least subtly is “leading lines”. When you look at the picture the lines sort of lead you to the corner of the building where you notice you’re not looking at a blurry picture, you’re actually looking at a reflection. At least that’s the way I saw it.
Last, when shooting during the day even though there is plenty of natural light, at some points I had to slow down my shutter speed or boost my ISO. I’ll talk about this more when I take a night picture but take note that for a picture like this when you want everything in focus you need to use a smaller aperture. I used f/9 which is (based on everything I read) a good aperture for landscapes. Since a smaller aperture means less light, you have to compensate with a higher ISO or slower shutter speed.
I’m only in week two and I can already see how challenging the 52 from 52 concept is going to be. Luckily I like a challenge, anything worthwhile takes time and effort. I put a decent amount of thought into what I wanted to photograph this week. I naturally have lots of ideas but some of them are about timing (weather, time of day, ect.) while others are location based and require traveling. With a busy schedule, one of my biggest difficulties will be setting aside the time to go out and take pictures each week…but that’s the purpose of this, to force me to get out there and learn!