Tag Archives: Digital
Normally I use this blog to post my personal work, which revolves almost exclusively around shooting film. But I do have another photographic life, using a digital DSLR, that I don’t feature here. Yet, it’s one that I’m passionate about. As a Sing for Hope volunteer and the “photographer in residence,” I photograph community visits and concerts for this amazing NYC-based arts organization. What they do is very simple, but how they do it and the effect it has on the community is inspiring. Tapping into the large and talented pool of musicians, actors, singers, and artists based in NYC, Sing for Hope has developed a huge roster of performers who donate their time and energy bringing the arts to places that need it most. Since I’ve been involved with Sing for Hope, we’ve visited hospitals, nursing homes, schools, community centers, shelters, and clinics, bringing world class performers to every corner of NYC’s five boroughs.
This year, the Sing for Hope crew is doing something crazy…
88 pianos. 5 boroughs. 2 weeks.
This mega-project would be ambitious even if it were simply placing dozens of pianos in outdoor public spaces around the five boroughs of NYC. Imagine the red tape and the logistics for such a proposal. To make it even more complex, over the last couple of months, artists from all over the city submitted proposals to transform a piano before its released into the wild. The selected artists will paint and decorate their pianos and then the pianos will be placed at 88 locations across the city in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
Right now these pianos are nestled into a sparse industrial floor of a midtown building. Each piano is being repaired and tuned by a group of technicians; these are not just art installations – each one will be tuned and play-ready. Next week the artists will begin transforming the old pianos, giving each of them a new life. I’ll be documenting this process and enjoying every minute. In June, the Sing for Hope pianos hit the streets.
For more information and insider photos from the artists themselves, follow #SFHpianos on Twitter.
And lastly, here are a few photographs that I took of Sing for Hope’s “Play Me I’m Yours” campaign in 2011, before I even knew what Sing for Hope was. It was these photos that led to my relationship with Sing For Hope; one of the coordinators came across them on flickr and reached out to me.
Despite having all but forsaken using a 35mm SLR in favor of medium format and format, I recently took my Olympus OM-1 on a trip to Bushwick. I had my newish Nikon D700 with me and didn’t want to commit to all-digital for the trip, so I popped a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 into the OM-1. During my outing, I took a few shots of the same thing with the Olympus and the D700. I was astounded at the difference in the two cameras. The Olympus paired with Kodak Ektar rendered everything with a richness and texture that the Nikon D700 just smoothed over. The D700 shots were too cool-toned and the aging building facades looked smooth and slick rather than worn and beaten by time. I posted an example on Flickr of the same shot side by side with Ektar and digital and it’s beyond obvious which is better for this particular shot. Overall, film simply renders things like buildings, storefronts, and street art in a much more true-to-life manner. The D700 files are just too polished, too perfect. Lesson learned. The D700 is unmatched in shooting events and low light, while film is better for everything else.
Last week I had uploaded a few of my normal type shots to Flickr using the D700 despite thinking they looked a little flat. I thought it was just me being too used to the way a film shot looks. Then as I was showing Kate the comparison shot (linked to above) she was like, “Yeah, those D700 shots don’t look very good.” She didn’t think they were up to my usual standards and hoped that I wouldn’t be using the D700 for shooting my everyday stuff. What looked obvious to me was just obvious. Film simply looks better for the type of things I like to shoot.
Here are a handful of OM-1, Kodak Ektar shots from the trip.
You make a lot of sacrifices living in Manhattan. Square footage? Forget it. What you paid $200K for elsewhere would cost you $1.5 to 2 Million. So you get a studio if you live in Manhattan, maybe a 1 bedroom if you live in the boroughs. You learn to live in a space that’s one fourth of what you lived in before. And it’s easy, because you live in NYC. There’s no place else like it in the world.
And then Christmas comes. Shit, wouldn’t it be great to have a tree? Yeah, where are you going to put a tree? You get a small tree and pay $25 for a 3 foot tree. You schlep it to the subway stop, ride home with it, then walk the four blocks to your apartment with your tree, evergreen in your lungs the whole time.
When you get home, you spend 30 minutes trying to clean the sap off your hands, it will wear off over the next couple of days. I was lucky that Kate took pity on this tree and made it special. Over two nights, she strung popcorn and cranberries by hand. We had no ornaments, so we grabbed two in Dumbo over the weekend – an S and a K.
I think it’s one of the best trees we’ve ever had.
Sounds like it’s not a done deal, but if you look at the way things have been going in this area over the past two years, it would not be a surprise to see another venerable institution disappear. Look I like DBGB just around the corner for their great beers (yes, I said it) , but there should still be plenty of places that tourists and NYU students are too uncomfortable to go.
The Mars Bar is one of my favorite facades in the city. It’s ever changing and almost always interesting.
Halloween 2010 version
The window on 2nd avenue that you can barely see out of and into
One morning I was walking by very early on the way to Abraco for coffee and Roy was outside reading his paper like he did every nice morning after opening up. This will always be one of my favorite NYC shots.
Sadly, Roy passed away this year. There was a tribute to him on the wall shorty afterwards.
I think the “After the Mars Bar, then what?” pretty much sums it up. I hope we don’t find out.
BTW, check out EV Grieve for the latest incarnation of the Mars Bar facade.
The Kiosk Store in Soho is a total gem in an area lacking cool. They always have neat things in their second floor shop, but right now they have items and ephemera from Japan. Every time I walk by the pink neon arrow, I’m attracted by the tagged stairs leading up to the shop. The stairs, the stairwell, and the hallways on the second floor have all been handsomely marked with graffiti and tags. If you’re stuck in Soho, stop by Kiosk for a look. You’ll be glad you did.
I feel like kind of an ass now. After switching between digital and film shots in Barcelona and Madrid, I told Kate that Sevilla felt “more digital than film.” As in somehow Sevilla wasn’t quite worthy of film. Sure it was a little more commercialized and touristy at times, but it was also drop dead gorgeous. Looking at a folder of JPEG files, I’m now struck by just how amazing Sevilla was. I’ve forgotten the rat’s nest of streets that make it impossible to find your hotel on the first try and the hanging ham hocks above almost every bar that made this vegetarian cringe. All I see is beautiful Spain in its historic glory. Sure, Sevilla didn’t feel as “legit” as Barcelona or Madrid to my eyes, but I’m not sure I’m qualified to make that decision. So, all I have for Sevilla are some digital files.
I’m sure you will agree that it’s a captivating city.
We went to the Brooklyn Flea this morning to look for picture frames. Of course, I got distracted.
On the way, we passed one of my favorite restaurant signs on Henry Street.
Love these cameras
Always a Kodak Instamatic at the Flea
Lots of pristine typewriters today
Definitely my favorite typewriter of the day
The People’s Pops ice block for shaved ice
Lots of nicely stacked luggage today as well
Alas, Frank’s Cocktail Lounge was not open, so we went to the the General Greene for brunch and cocktails afterwards.
Saturday afternoon, after watching Nadal sweep three easy sets in Madison Square Park, we walked down and over to the East Village. Luckily, a friend reminded us that the HOWL! Festival was taking place and that artists were midway through covering the walls around the park.
I have no idea.
Had some time to kill before meeting Kate to watch Spain win the World Cup (Vamos Espana!!), so I wandered around the East Village and over into Noho.
This was in the East Village, on 12th Street, I think…
You go, Noah!
I wonder how much longer this independent auto repair shop will last on the corner of Bowery and Jones?
Flowers on the corner of Second Avenue in the East Village.
Hmm, somewhere over in Noho. I don’t recall where.
Birds on doors, Bond Street in Noho
Army of One in Noho
And I would be remiss if I didn’t post this pic from right before the match.