Monday, December 19, 2011

2011: The Year In Photos, Volume I

With my new Nikon D5000 by my side throughout 2011, I was not only able to capture cityscapes and all other images with a new eye on creativity, but the addition of digital editing (and the temptation of extreme HDR) gave me an entirely new purview of glorious New York, its people and the places I visited throughout the year.

Before we wrap the year gone by, I'll share three volumes of my fave photos from 2011, with the top 10 ranked in Volume 3. Why, I can practically see you trembling with anticipation...Lynchburg, Va., this fall, as I snooped down a private driveway by the railroad tracks that line the James River. The layers of foliage and trees, almost like individual lines, with the barren tree in front, bring focus to a classic tire swing, as innocent and sweet as childhood.
I was actually taking pictures of New York's Flatiron Building, but this vista enchanted me, because it could have been taken in 2011 or 1911.
Washington, D.C.'s Samuel Francis Dupont Circle fountain, with a close-up image of one of the three classical nudes. The marble statue was installed in 1921. I enhanced the lines to show its gentle aging.

So Brooklyn... This meat shop in Cobble Hill has been around for more than 80 years—and everything about it conjures vintage, including the passerby with the hat. I gave it the full overdramatized HDR treatment for added drama.
Dear friend Tinatin during the video shoot for her song "Wild" at Lower East Side bar Niagara. The larger image was taken as she was preparing to lip sync the track, and I love its timeless beauty, with her red lips contrasting the blacks and browns that dominate the shot. The inner photo was my take of a posed shot for the album cover... which I believe turned out better than the pro photog's image. So there.
My parents' Christmas tree, which they decorated while I was in Virginia over Thanksgiving. It could be anybody's tree and thus is universal, but because I know these ornaments, this image holds a special place for me.
A rainy night in New York City. The sheen of the sidewalks equalized the lighting in the photo, taken without a flash, while I loved the fluorescent tube lighting in the building, which looks like darts aligned in a pattern. Below, the same block, with a cartoon-like effect via HDR editing.
Dusk looking at the woods in front of my brother's house in Lynchburg, Va. I did next to nothing to this pic, aside from lowering the contrast to intensify the outline of the trees. So simple and lovely.
When Leo and I took a day trip to Nyack and Cold Spring, N.Y., in June, we gamboled through dozens of thrift and antique shops, which were filled with potential fun images. This is my fave among all.

9/11/2011... Ten years later with the annual lights of the Twin Towers, oddly placed nowhere near the actual site, but dramatic nonetheless. The one thing that I don't care for is how the lights enter the clouds and spread as if they're combusting... but when I tried to crop it below, it loses so much of the impact. So it is what it is... Hopefully, by September 2012, we'll have an actual tower on the horizon and can finally retire the endless tributes.
The cemetery at Trinity Church on New York's Wall Street. A beautiful summer day. I attempted to make this as spooky as possible with intensified glow and colorizing.
Fulton Street Mall in Brooklyn... The birds, the birds! As a flurry of pigeons took flight amid the rumble of a bus that had just passed, I snapped away. The resulting picture offered nothing particularly memorable—until I turned it into what resembles a washed-out painting.
There's no one that has walked across the Brooklyn Bridge that doesn't have this very image, where all of the wires line in perfect symmetry with the center column. And there's a reason why that remains such a quintessential and iconic image.Taken during Hurricane Irene,when the Brooklyn Heights Promenade was oddly deserted, except for one lone person. I altered this image to stark black and white, with the exception of the woman looking toward the Manhattan skyline, in red.
 And another view during Hurricane Irene... The BQE highway, on the left, is typically packed day and night, as seen in this spring photo... as opposed to a single vehicle—an ambulance—during the drama of the storm.