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Archive for the ‘Black & White’ Category

Cityscapes – Lights, Camera, Action…

Although the majority of my work tends to be of the natural world, I also have an affinity for creating images in urban spaces, particularly big cities such as New York and Chicago. The combination of architecture, artificial lighting and constant movement creates a multitude of TS Cab and Kiss_5195 Final 1000w

Times Square Cab and Kiss, NYC, New York, 2013

photographic opportunities. The image above was one that I first formulated in my mind’s eye. Dodging rain drops, once the traffic light changed allowing cabs to pass in front of me in the middle of Times Square, I moved my tripod out from under cover. A slightly slower shutter speed caught the cab’s motion while still being fast enough to freeze the surrounding people and constantly changing, brightly lit signs. An extra bonus in this image is in the lower left corner, just behind the cab’s rear window, a couple kissing under an umbrella waiting for the light to change.Rush Hour Grand Central Station Smart Fix lite FINAL 1000w

       Rush Hour, Grand Central Station, NYC, New York, 2009

Again, pre-conceiving the image, I set my tripod up on the upper level concourse of Grand Central Station. Using a slow shutter speed I captured the rush of people heading to and from their trains while others stand and wait for theirs. The classic architecture and subject called for a Black and White image here. 400 year old Fine Art paper maker, Hahnemuhle must have agreed when they used it to show off their product at the Photo Expo Plus in New York City.Dont_Let_the_Lights_Go_Out_on_Broadway

                               Don’t Let the Lights Go Out on Broadway, NYC, 2012

This image was the result of an opportunity that arose while I was shooting in Times Square with a tripod fixated on the usual nightly action. Upon spotting this scene I quickly swung my camera around and caught this image of an electrician maintaining the antique street light posts that run up and down Broadway and 7th Avenue. Juxtaposed against the massive, modern, brightly lit digital video screens, these small, classic covered lights, atop antique poles, maintain the charm of old New York amongst the city’s modern-day extreme urban brilliance. The trick with shooting in Times Square is catching a pleasing composition of the quickly and constantly changing imagery on the screens.

(With a nod to the Billy Joel song) this worker (who, when the image is enlarged, can be seen on his cell phone), is extended high up and perched inside an electrician’s crane basket making sure the lights (no matter how small)…don’t go out on Broadway.

Varying Techniques used to Photograph Supermoons Over the Years

supermoon is a full moon (opposite Earth from the sun) that closely coincides with perigee – the moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly elliptic orbit. When the moon always swings farthest away from Earth once each month; that point is called apogee. These perigee, or

Nuclear SuperMoon 0387 Horiz Final 1000wNuclear Supermoon

supermoons, result in what seems like a larger-than-usual apparent size as viewed from Earth. There are 4-6 supermoons a year on average and can cause real physical effects, such as

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larger-than-usual tides. From a photographic standpoint, supermoons also take on a deep reddish tint as they rise from the horizon, lightening in color to yellow and/or tan and then, eventually

IMG_9711 Allure and Supermoon FINAL 2 lite 1000Supermoon and Cruise Ship

to the regular, although a bit brighter, white. Due to the unique nature of this phenomenon, I have tried to capture supermoons in various ways over the years. In order of presentation here:

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(1.) has an effect similar to a nuclear explosion as the moon seems to be exploding from the horizon, (2.) within a second or two after that, the moon has risen above the horizon and

Best BW Birds on Crane_0190 crop Horiz FINALBirds Eye View

leaves a glint of reflection underneath, (3.) a cruise ship’s embarkation timed to pass the supermoonrise, (4.) a dusk supermoon also has a very distant bird silhouetted against the

Super Moon 0084_FINAL_Crop Landscape38 Clouded Supermoon at Dusk

bottom, left corner,(5.) several birds silhouetted against a blurred, high rising moon offers another take on how to capture the scene. Finally (6.) a clouded moon framed as it rises between the silhouette of two trees at dusk.

Clearly, the phenomenon offers countless possibilities to capture a…super image.

 

What a Difference a Day Makes / Hurricane Irma’s Wrath

What a difference a day makes…The image below was created on a beautiful evening in Coconut Grove at Florida’s Dinner Key Marina. The water was perfectly calm and the sailboats were lit by natural light from a full moon… Fast forward to Sunday as Hurricane Irma came ashore on the

Moonlit Sailboats_0708 at 1000wMoonlit Sailboats, Coconut Grove, FL 2010 / ©Barry Steven Greff

west coast of Florida some 100 miles across the state on Marco Island. Notwithstanding how far away the eye of the hurricane was, her intensity and strength had significant impact on much of the east coast because the storm stretched further than the width of the State itself. Below are a couple of news images of what Dinner Key now looks like after the storm. The moorings of the

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sailboats that were secured specifically for the storm, were no match for her. The winds and surge of the water dislodged many of the boats with some of them winding up on the shore as seen above while others capsized in the water.

As a resident of a state that has gone through many hurricanes, Floridians are a resilient bunch. No doubt, given enough time, Dinner Key will once again be restored to its natural splendor.  It’s been done before and… I’m sure it will be done again.

You can help those affected by the storm by contacting the Red Cross at 1-800-HELP NOW or online at: http://rdcrss.org/2y1q1VV 

 

Granite Flow on a Rainy Day

Another black and white image of water flowing downward over and around hard granite rock in the beautiful state of Colorado. Although I usually stay away from even the slightest political

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Granite Flow, Boulder, Colorado 2008

reference in my photography, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to achieve considering the way things are going, which certainly wouldn’t be described as smooth.

Notwithstanding, in my work I always try to concentrate on the natural beauty that has (so far) survived all that has occurred around it. This image was created on a rainy day, just outside the classic Colorado city of Boulder. The muted sky allows for the tripod mounted camera’s shutter to remain open long enough to slow down the motion of the water and the rain emphasizes the sharp detail of the granite rock.

Here’s to hoping things around us flow more smoothly going forward… although as I hear myself write it, I recognize just how hard it will be to achieve.

Flowing Downward / Rocky Mountains

A classic black and white image of a mighty river flowing downward in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

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Downward Flow, Colorado 2010

After a particularly snowy winter, the melting runoff created a powerful flow down river. Captured using a tripod from a bridge over the river, the slow shutter speed caught the motion of the rushing water as it made its way around boulders and fallen trees.

Happy Holidays 2016

Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season…

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White Christmas, Rockefeller Center, NYC 2009

 As if on cue, while visiting Rockefeller Center during the holidays in 2009, the snow began to fall over this iconic scene. Backing up behind the row of trumpeting angels, I shot this familiar, but still magical, view.

It was lucky that I got this shot when I did. The next year I went back their was a photographic set up at this spot, with a long line of tourists willing to pay big bucks to have their photo taken in front of this scene.

Lesson learned, always capture the classics when they come up, you never know if…or when they will ever be available again.

Patterns in Nature / Seeing is Believing / Sometimes…Less is More

Circumstances beyond my control have kept me from creating new work for a while, so I have been reaching into my archives, which are very deep. This post is about seeing patterns in

img_9951Flamingo Feathers, 2013

nature. When I would look at a scene to photograph, I crop it in my mind to create the maximum impact. The flamingo’s feathers were all that were required here to showcase an example of the beauty of natural patterns. In the image below the patterns of this spider web became more

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Beaded Web, Weston, FL 2011

pronounced by the beaded drops of water after a light rain. Again, although the web spanned between two fence posts in my backyard, omitting them from the composition made the image.

The lesson…sometimes less is more.

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