I was back in New York last weekend and as usual I had a list of things I wanted to shoot while there. There’s never a shortage of things to see and shoot in New York no matter how many times you’ve been there. I’ve been to Bethesda Terrace in Central Park many times before but always with hundreds of other visitors and while that’s okay for some street photography I selfishly wanted the place to myself.
My alarm went off at 4:30am and off I went. I grabbed a cab as I wanted to get there before the 5:15 sunrise time and as I got out of the cab two things happened. First I opened the door to the cab to get out and on the sidewalk were 2 rats the size of an external hard drive and second the cab driver told me to be careful. I thought he was talking about the rats and when I told him they’d already scurried away he said that he meant in the park. “There’s a lot of bad people in the park at that hour” Great…that’s what I needed to hear. I had already tried to put aside my concern about my walking through Central Park at that hour telling myself that it would be light soon and it wouldn’t be a problem. I was right. As soon as I started walking towards my destination I encountered joggers and cyclists and I immediately felt better.
As I was setting up my tripod and getting ready to start taking pictures a couple of more rats decided to run by my feet (surprisingly I didn’t freak out. I think they were more afraid of me then I was of them. Maybe because I used to have hamsters 🙂 )
Here’s the first that I’ve processed. I’ll have more later in the week along with a little history of the place.
Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a print.
The architecture in Havana comes in all shapes and sizes from Neoclassic, Baroque, Art Deco, Eclectic to Modernism. While parts of the city are in a state of deterioration one can see that restoration of historic buildings has and is taking place.
One of the best examples of Art Deco is the Bacardi Building. The building was built-in 1930 for the Bacardi Rum company which had its origins in Cuba.
In October 1960 Cuba’s revolutionary government seized control of all foreign owned and 400 Cuban owned companies and property including The Bacardi Rum Company. Before army officers were able to get to the Bacardi facilities the family destroyed the secret yeast strain they used to make their rum.
Anticipating that the tides were turning in Cuba, the Bacardi Family had already set up distilleries in Mexico and Puerto Rico and offices in the United States. With the Bacardi Company’s exile from Cuba, it forced the family to regroup and plan its future and it set up a new centre of operations in the Bahamas. Within 20 years of the loss of its assets in Cuba, Bacardi rum became the world’s leading premium spirit brand.
After the revolution the building continued to be used as offices. In 1990 a major renovation and restoration was undertaken by the City Historian’s office.
We also went up to the roof of the building to enjoy the view of Havana.
It was unfortunate that when shooting at the Toronto Centre for the Arts we weren’t able to get into the main stage. That evening they were setting up for an upcoming show. We were however granted access into the George Weston Recital Hall. While not quite elaborate it was still fin to set up and shoot in there. Now I know that some people are getting tired of selective colour and thrush be told I was actually going to clone out the photographer in the image but I thought that including him provided a bit more of a compelling story. The decision to bring back the color was just me playing with the image to see what worked well. I think the red jacket just makes the image pop a bit more. What do you think?
I used Topaz Black & White Effects to convert the image to black and white and selectively bring back the colour. Don’t forget you can always use the code ELPHOTO to get a 15% discount on all Topaz Products.
Just a quick post today as I head out on this sunny Sunday. Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend. For some reason I’ve stopped getting the Weekly Photo Challenges in my inbox on Fridays. Has this happened to anyone else? I realized this was the challenge this week but visiting other blogs.
Anyway…can anyone guess why I picked this letter? 🙂
Happy Monday Everyone and a very Happy Easter for all those that celebrate. I hope you had an amazing weekend. I’m happy to report that it was a glorious weekend, weather wise. I think (and I hold my breath as I say this) that Spring is finally here.
Here’s another image for the Toronto Centre for the Arts. This was taken from the upper lobby level of the centre looking down on the multiple staircases that leads to the lower lobby. I love the contrast between the wood railings and the chrome of the staircases.
Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better in high resolution) or to Purchase a Print.
The Toronto Centre for the Arts, located in the north part of Toronto opened it’s doors in 1993 as the North York Performing Arts Centre. It’s name was later changed to the Ford Centre for Performing Arts after a major donation was made and later renamed to its current name…The Toronto Centre for the Arts.
Last week I had the opportunity to photograph the interior of the centre. Access was arranged by my photography club and I and 15 other inconspicuous, tripod toting individuals descended upon tho slovenly space. The unfortunate part was that the Main Stage was off limits as a show was being set up at the time. We did however have access to one of the smaller theatres and the lovely Art Deco lower and upper lobby.
The challenge in photographing in an interior space such as this, with close to 30 photographers, is that inevitably someone walks through your shot. As respectful and mindful as you try to be it just happens when you have that many photographers. On the flip side the advantage to attending one of these types of outings is that you can share ideas and techniques with like minded individuals.
Here’s one view of the lower lobby processed in both colour and black and white. What I love about this space this the Art Deco look and when I looked at all the converging lines and details I thought this would look great in B&W. Which do you prefer? I can tell you that I asked my son the same question last night and he unequivocally choose the colour. I’m undecided.
Click on the images to enlarge to see a higher resolution (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.