Tag Archives: Financial District
Today at lunch I meandered the few blocks to the Ground Zero/WTC site to see what the mood was like. I didn’t really plan on taking a lot of pictures, but grabbed my camera bag anyway. I had nine exposures left on a color roll in my Nikon F3 and four left on a black and white roll in my Nikon FM2n.
As a contrast to the party atmosphere last night, the mood was subdued. WTC workers still competed with tourists for lunchtime real estate. Sellers were hawking WTC wares. There were a lot of photographers and news crews. I took out my camera and shot the rest of my color roll first, then my black and white roll. This was what I ended up with. I offer these pictures without excess comment or judgement. It was a weird day.
Color film is the new Kodak Portra 400 in Nikon F3 with a 50mm f1.4 Ai lens
Family Holding Newspaper with Bin Laden Death Headline Across from WTC Site
WTC Construction Worker Resting by Statue
Man Selling WTC Programs
NYFD Leather Vest
Men holding up Papers with Bin Laden Headlines
Photographer Chimping Instead of Paying Attention
Business as Usual for these WTC Workers
Freedom Tower Rising
NYPD Hat and Flag
Black and white pictures are Nikon Fm2n and Nikkor 28mm f2.8 Ai-S lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed to 1250 and developed in Xtol developer for 8.5 minutes
Young Guys Celebrating Across from WTC Site
Man with Bible and a Warning Across from WTC Site
Man Waving Flag from Mercedes Moon Roof
Men Exchanging Information Across from WTC Site
Photographers are a sucker for inclement weather. Yes, the weather is bad, but bad weather can make interesting pictures. So, if it’s snowing, I’ll usually grab my boots and a camera and head out. Same thing if it’s raining.
On Tuesday, towards the end of the day, I looked out and noticed how foggy it was. I could barely see Brooklyn from our window. I shut down my email and grabbed a camera. I wanted to stick close to home, so I decided to restrict myself to a radius of a block each way from our house. Since we live in one of the densest blocks of Lower Manhattan, I knew there would be plenty to occupy me.
My first stop was the Elevated Acre, an acre of elevated astroturf that overlooks the east River and Brooklyn. This is the park that I see when I look out of our window every day. They show classic movies there once a week in the summer. This park is also the most militant anti-dog park I’ve ever seen. Kate and I have tried several times to take Chloe over there, but each time we are busted by a security guard.
Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn in Fog
Hanover Square from Elevated Acre in Financial District
Empty Tables and Chairs on Stone Street in Financial District
On nice evenings you can hear the roar of traders and finance workers letting loose when you step out our front door. Stone Street is really gorgeous, but we rarely go here. I have been known to order the occasional take out pizza from Adrienne’s Pizza here.
Buildings in Fog from Water Street in Financial District
From the Elevated Acre, Financial District, Manhattan
Looking Up into Fog, Elevated Acre, Financial District, Manhattan
Slanted Building in Fog on Elevated Acre, Financial District, Manhattan
You cold easily pull a Spider-Man and scale up the side of this angles building. I didn’t; there was a security guard watching me take pictures.
Curved Stairs of Elevated Acre, Financial District, Manhattan
3 Hanover Street, Financial District, Manhattan
All images taken with Nikon F3 and Nikkor 28mm f2.8 lens on Ilford HP5+ 400 speed film developed in Kodak Xtol developer for 8.5 minutes.
Since I’ve been out of commission with the flu, I’m forced to load up a handful of random shots from late March. These are with the Nikon F3 and either a Nikkor 28mm f2.8 Ai-S lens or 50mm f1.4 Ai lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 film. I’ve pretty much switched to Xtol for my developing, so these are all souped in Kodak Xtol developer.
I promise I’ll be back next week with new stuff.
Lit Trees at Night on Maiden Lane, Financial District
Ray of Light at 5:30pm in the Financial District
Night in Red Hook, Brooklyn
Kate Approaching Tara Donovan Installation in Chelsea
Tara Donovan Installation Up Close
Giant Rat Outside Apartment Building on Wall Street
Crystal Clear Ice, Lower East Side
French Albums in Heavy Rotation on the Regp P1 Turntable
Flea Market Chair in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (You’ll never get texture like that with a digital camera.)
If you talk to enough people about classic film cameras, you’ll hear the Olympus XA (manufactured in 1979) mentioned. If you look online, you’ll see reviews of this camera, websites dedicated to the XA, and countless threads extolling its virtues as an almost perfect, pocketable film camera. I wasn’t convinced. I do recall a family member having a similar clamshell camera, but it was just a little plastic piece of junk. The Olympus XA reminded me a bit of that camera. It’s all cheap looking plastic, which I hate. It’s ugly too with it’s little sliding door lens cover and weird vertical aperture selector. The ISO is controlled by a little switch under the lens and just above it is a similar tab/lever which you slide to focus the rangefinder. Nothing on it works like a real camera.
And yet, I couldn’t quite get it out of my head as a perfect camera to accompany my FM2n and F3 on our upcoming Paris trip. If only it would perform like a SLR and give me good quality pictures. Then a pal from California messaged me saying he had an extra XA that he wanted to sell cheaply if I was interested. I PayPal’d him the money (roughly equal to the price of two drinks in NYC) and figured it would be an interesting experiment.
I’ve only shot one roll of throwaway images with it, but I like it. I like it for three reasons.
First off, it’s compact. Look at that tiny thing next to the roll of film; this makes it feel like nothing in your hand. Second, the shutter is both whisper quiet and easy to engage. You barely have to touch it to fire and when it does fire you almost can’t believe that it just took a picture. And third, it’s an Olympus with a Zuiko lens. That means quality. The lens is a fast f2.8 lens and I’m assuming you can hold it steady at 1/30 second or even 1/15 second with ease. If you don’t want to press your luck handheld in low light, it has a little self timer lever on the bottom that can be folded out. And this lever acts as a little stabilizer to hold the camera in place on a table top or flat surface. So far the lens is sharp enough for me stopped down a little. Wide open it’s kind of soft, but I like that softness in the corners sometimes depending on the subject.
The rangefinder patch on this particular specimen is a little hard to see in dim conditions as is the viewfinder exposure meter, but it’s easy to estimate in the dark for exposure or distance. There is a distance scale for the rangefinder above the lens when you look down. So far, the only problem I’ve had is keeping my finger out of the way of the lens. When I was taking a picture the other day with Kate, she said remarked that it looked like a disposable camera. She’s totally right. It doesn’t look like a professional or capable camera in any way. It looks like a toy. But it shoots nice pictures that will produce 35mm negatives you can enlarge way beyond today’s top of the line cropped sensor DSLR cameras that cost over a thousand dollars. That’s not a toy. It’s definitely not just hype and with features and performance like this, I think it’s a classic.
Here are a few decent pictures from the first roll.
Shot with Olympus XA on Kodak Tri-X 400 film exposed and developed at 800 ISO in Kodak Xtol Developer for 7.75 minutes
Wall Streeters with umbrellas crossing Water Street in the rain
News stand on Water Street in the Financial District
Community Garden in the Lower East Side
Live How You Live Graffiti in Freeman’s Alley, Lower East Side
Freeman’s Restaurant, Lower East Side
Freeman’s Alley, Lower East Side
Freeman’s Alley Horse Art, Lower East Side
We live in the Financial District and I think it’s one of the most stunning neighborhoods of NYC. It always reminds me of Batman’s Gotham. In many ways it’s a photographer’s dream, but even I don’t shoot much here. Lately, I’ve tried to finish off rolls of film as I’m coming home, and of course it’s tricky to get good shots if you include the street and the sky. Even on sunny days, you can find yourself in shadow on a narrow, curving street between walls of stone, glass, and granite. If you expose correctly for the street, the sky will be too bright and washed out. If you expose according to the sky, then the street will be in dark shadow. It’s all about timing and selection. Lately, I’ve enjoyed shooting at night with very little light and then during the day I’ve tried using a medium yellow filter to diminish the brightness of the sky.
By day the Financial District is packed with Wall Streeters and tourists, but at night our neighborhood is a different place. Instead of hordes of camera snapping tourists and financial types, lone figures lit up by streetlights or storefront windows walk the street. Normally the people you see are in a hurry to get someplace else.
Darkened figure walking on Broadway, just north of Wall Street
Late Commuter with Umbrella walking between Water and Pearl Street in the Financial District
Here’s a pedestrian version of looking up at the Twenty Exchange Place building. This building has become one of my favorite buildings in NYC. At 741 ft. tall, it was the 4th tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1931. Now it barely registers among the tallest buildings in Manhattan. But I see it every day, several times a day in every kind of light. I think it’s gorgeous.
And just tweaking your viewpoint just a little makes a MUCH better image with lines leading the viewer’s eyes properly. Same building, almost the exact same spot.
All images are shot with the Nikon FM2n and Nikkor 28mm f2.8 Ai-S MF lens on Kodak Tri-X 400 film exposed and developed at box speed in Kodak Tmax Developer (1+4) for 6 minutes.
I visited Simon at Adorama last week to finally pick up a lens I’ve been coveting since before Christmas. For less than $200 I was able to get an excellent copy of one of Nikon’s best old school lenses, the Nikkor 28mm f2.8 Ai-S version.
It’s been awhile since I’ve used a lens this wide, but I’m still amazed at what you can squeeze into the frame.
The Queensboro Bridge from Roosevelt Island
Kate and the Williamsburg Bridge
With a nod to Bobby Womack, 110th Street in Harlem
The Standard Hotel in Meatpacking District
Twenty Exchange Place right down the block from us in the Financial District
Mill Lane leading to Stone Street in the Financial District
Pedestrian in the shadow of Twenty Exchange Place
So, NYC just had the snowiest January on record. I guess that explains why half my shots are of snow or people in the snow. During and after this latest storm, I took the Hasselblad out to capture the crippled city. All shots are with Haselblad 501cm and Kodak Tri-X 400 or Ilford Delta Pro 100 film developed in Kodak TMax developer for 6 and 7 minutes respectively.
And it begins again, shot on Wall Street
Daily News trucks still delivering
A city worker tries to keep the sidewalks clear on Pearl Street
The next day in Tribeca
Nothing stops the delivery bikes
We escape the snow in Barnes & Noble
Seems like we’ve had snow on the ground since the day after Christmas, but that hasn’t kept us from getting out and walking around like usual. Actually, I think the storefronts show just a bit more character in the snow anyway. All photographs are from the Nikon FM2n on Kodak Tri-X 400 film developed in Kodak TMax Developer for 6 minutes. This is the seventh roll of film shot for 2011.
Moishe’s Bake Shop, East Village, NYC
Block Drug Store, East Village, NYC
I’ve become a bit obsessed with photographing delivery bikes lately.
The heavy snow boots and plummeting temperatures do require you to make frequent stops to warm up. Wilfie and Nell in Greenwich Village was a perfect escape from the cold one day.
Of course, the longer the snow sticks around the nastier the streets and sidewalks get. And more trash seems to pile up… The corner of Water and Wall Street
Another stopping point, The Breslin Bar at the Ace Hotel. Kate was recharging her batteries.
We did spend some time at home, where I snapped off the last pictures of this roll.
Sonic Youth Daydream Nation Vinyl Box Set
Our second round of snow was perfect. Big, fat, fluffy flakes of snow fell and didn’t really stick to the sidewalks or roads. I loaded the Leica M6 up with a roll of Kodak Tri-X 400 and zipped across the street to Hanover Square. The Summicron 50mm lens on my Leica is from the 1950s, so it gives the pictures an old, dreamy quality. I developed the film in Kodak D-76 for 6.75 minutes.
In Hanover Square Park
In Hanover Square Park
Our corner, with much less trash than last time
Christmas Tree in Hanover Square Park
From our front door
Also from our front door
The Nikon has much better contrast than the Olympus using the same film and developer. Looks like I’ll reserve the Olympus for color film and summer stuff and the Nikon and Leica for all my B&W work.
Here are several shots just developed in Kodak D-76 (stock solution) for 6.75 minutes.
Wide Basket in the Financial District
Fino Christmas Lights, Financial District
Decorated Bike for Christmas, Soho
Tacombi Taco Truck. Nolita
More on the Nolita Stationary Taco Truck at Embarrassment of Riches
Gramercy Tavern, Flatiron District
Anthropologie Decorations, Soho
The East Village RV, East Village
NYC Eats Its Young, East Village
Block Drugs Sign, East Village