My New York City Photo Safari

nyc-paintede-wallChris Gampat appeared on my radar a few years ago. At the time we were both freelancers, churning out short snippets for PCMag’s ancillary blogs. Chris and I wrote on a variety of topics, but it was easy to see we both gravitated toward photography.

He is now the proprietor of The Phoblographer, a photocentric website with tips and reviews. When he divulged the traffic numbers I gasped.

We’d never met until yesterday. There’s a spot on the East River in Queens that, on paper, seemed like a great photo location. I asked Chris if he wanted to go?

We met in at the corner of Greenpoint and West in Brooklyn. Neighborhood gentrification is in progress, but there are still garages, warehouses and small manufacturing companies. Business is there for the same reason we were–the waterfront.

We took a few shots out on a pedestrian pier, then hopped in my car and headed to Long Island City.

A few years ago LIC was like Greenpoint, industrial. Not now! Tall, slender high end condos have spring up behind the giant Pepsi sign on the Queens bank of the river. We were directly across from the United Nations with a great view of Manhattan.

We stayed a while capturing the spectacular view, then hopped the subway and headed west. Part of Long Island City’s value is its proximity to Midtown. We were under Times Square in ten minutes and down in the Meatpacking District on the Highline five minutes after that.

The Highline is an abandoned elevated rail line on the West Side of Manhattan. It has been converted to a linear park, winding its way between buildings. The views are great–people and scenery.

We walked north, taking time to take photos. As 7:00 PM approached we exited the Highline and returned to LIC.

The purpose of the trip was to get the skyline at night. It was everything I had hoped for.

Unfortunately, my gear wasn’t everything I’d hoped for! My tripod was shedding pieces as I set it up. The stiff breeze made it unstable.

I also brought my little GoPro camera for timelapse, but the battery was dead! It had been charge overnight. Early verdict: bad battery.

By the time we packed up I had a new friend and around 800 shots to go through!

(click on any of the photos for a larger view)












Buying A Camera — Advice From A Friend

The biggest problem is most people take their camera out of the box and never touch or change anything!

My friend Chris Gampat, a professional photographer, has lifted a great burden off my shoulders. He’s answering a question I’m asked all the time: What camera should I buy? Instead of giving specific models Chris has run through the checklist you should run through: “How to Choose a Point and Shoot.”

The problem with giving actual model numbers is the game is constantly changing. Something new is coming out all the time while older models are retired. It’s impossible for me or Chris to keep up with lines of cameras we won’t ever use.

The biggest problem is most people take their camera out of the box and never touch or change anything! The camera makes decisions while in “AUTO” based on generalizations and assumptions–but they’re not always right.

“AUTO” often produces blurry photos in situations where the same camera could have produced something sharper!

Me An Expert? Shhhh Don’t Tell

Chris Gampat has a nice article at Photography Bay about photographing dogs. He says I’m an expert.

Really? Shhh–don’t tell!

I’m a one trick pony. I shoot low and wide. Everything else takes care of itself.