a delightfully scatterbrained ride

by | Jun 3, 2017 | new york city, photography, travel

“When I look at a photograph, I’m looking for a gun – or an ashtray filled with cigarettes or the handsome man looking insecure. Something a little different.” – Professor Thomas Roma (Tom)

Here we go again

This past week has made like a plane, or a bird, or a particularly aggressive driver on the interstate, and flown by. I’m currently trying to understand what all went on during New York City week two. Hopefully I’ll figure out something semi-organized before I publish this blog post. Otherwise, you all are in for a delightfully scatterbrained ride (like most conversations with me).

I didn’t promise in the last post that I would talk about Brooklyn, Bronx, photographing with film, and delicious food. I will mention some of those things, but I’m glad I didn’t promise any of them. I don’t like to break promises.


On Thursday I found my favorite place in this metropolis yet: Long Island City. On the far west side of Queens, it’s a trendy, artistic community with an excellent view of the Manhattan skyline. I spent several hours at Hunters Point South Park, staring at the skyline, watching other people stare at the skyline, photographing, and eating BBQ.

I wasn’t very happy with any of my panoramas, so below is the night sky taken with one shot at 28mm focal length.

new york city week two

I will never tire of taking pictures of people taking pictures. It’s trippy. Or commonplace, maybe, if you’ve seen too many photos like this one.

new york city week two

The red light below drove me mad with the impulse to take photos. I love light, I love color, I love narrow depth of field.

new york city week two

Aha! The source of the magnificent red light! This Pepsi-Cola sign is, as of last April, an official landmark.

new york city week two

And here’s the BBQ I mentioned, from John Brown Smokehouse (note: food was good, website needs help).

new york city week two


As I briefly mentioned in last week’s post, this week I’ve been shooting with a film camera. On Friday, my film went through the ringer (or through the developer and fixer and fixer remover and stop bath, etc.) to see if it could survive to see the sun someday, without burning away.

I will spare everyone including myself by avoiding a long, drawn out summary and analysis of the darkroom process. Instead, I will simply say that I can understand why digital photography was so revolutionary, and also why photographers who shoot solely with film feel they are better than everyone else. It is an incredibly tedious process just to develop a single print to the perfect exposure and contrast.

When the image first appears on the emulsion paper, it really does feel a bit like magic (though we all know it’s chemistry). I sadly haven’t been able to take my prints home yet (they are safely drying in a book of blotting paper), but if you’re interested in seeing the photos I took, below is an average quality photo of a print of my contact sheet.

new york city week two

If you want to talk more about the darkroom process, I would be happy to learn from you/share with you more specific details of how it all works. But I won’t write about it more here.

And we will continue going

Again, thank you for sparing a few minutes to read about my life. You will hear (technically see) from me again in 7 more days with further exploration. I want you to leave considering this opinion from my professor for the Intensive Thomas Roma:

“We make work so other people care about what we’ve made and by extension, care about our experience on the earth.”



New York City Week One

New York City Week Three

New York City Week Four

New York City Week Five

New York City Week Six