When I was younger I remember the stern warnings from my parents about meeting people on the internet… or rather, NOT meeting people on the internet. Since those days the internet seems to have grown at least partially into another tool for connecting… sorry Mum and Dad, I’ve done it again. As I continue my foray into portrait photography I am needing more faces, and I thought it was about time I tried my hand at couples’ photography.Read More
Since my blog is named after the Sting song “An Englishman In New York”, I'm particularly pleased that I have finally found an English man to feature in this series...Read More
Dear New York,
As a pre-christmas treat, I decided to buy myself an early present in the form of a new 32 GB SD card for my camera. I have a bad habit of keeping photos that I like on my SD card, so I can flick back through them on my camera. It also serves as a useful backup for my laptop, external hard drive and my cloud albums (I know, I have trust issues with technology, but better safe than sorry!) This does, however, mean that the old SD card kept running out of space, and it was time to start afresh with a new one.
Well, over the holidays I actually managed to completely fill the new SD card too, so I think the New Year is the perfect time to begin some better organisational habits.
At this point I think it won’t be until 2018 that I have cleaned up all of my many photo folders, deleted the photos I have in triplicate in different places on the same hard drives, and created some form of order in the chaos - however having too many photos is a much better problem than not having enough!
It also meant it took about an hour to copy all the photos across from my camera to my laptop and far (faaaaar) longer to go through them finding the best ones.
So, what did I actually get up to over Christmas?
Well, your theme for me this time was Rooftops. I have taken a little bit of a liberty with this theme - my thinking was that I was in a stunningly beautiful area of Poland for New Year, and happened to be on top of a mountain, which I think can be considered the rooftops of the world!
Marcelina (forever patient and always helpful) managed to carefully navigate the treacherous ice and bitterly strong wind to get into position (who cares about safety when I need a good photograph?).
As a more traditional nod to rooftops - I thought the below photo of a lovely wooden church, nestled among the snowy pines would also work, as the white tips made a really beautiful effect.
For my theme this week, I am going to use a photo I took when I was back in London. I woke up on a Saturday morning, and a thick fog had fallen over the lake outside my flat. I grabbed my camera and ran out, as I thought there was a high probability it would burn off with the sun. I spent a lovely hour walking around the lakes - it was eerily calm and all the usual noise of London was muted.
I managed to take some really lovely photos (which were surprisingly difficult to edit, and keep the fog effect in place). The below is my favourite. I think it really gives off the sense of calm and isolation that the fog brought.
It would obviously be unfair to give you the theme “Fog” or some other weather orientated theme, so this week, I want you to to work on your Minimalism.
It’s good to be back!
One of the wonderful things about moving to New York has been how generously our friends and family are with their New York contacts. There are many people we haven't had the chance to meet up with but we're very lucky to have enjoyed the company of many wonderful peopleRead More
Elishia: This is pretty late for a 2016 round-up, but as we both had our own reasons for getting back into photography and goals that we wanted to achieve, I think Across The Pond Photography deserves a whole post dedicated to what we created in 2016.
Will: So 2016 is over, and I think we have had a very successful first year! Within the first 6 months of being “live” we made a total of 28 blog posts between us, and took many, many photos!
I know when I started this blog with you, my main incentive was to start using my camera more. I remember us speaking at Easter and I hadn’t taken a photo on it for a whole year! I can confidently say, that this is now not the case! In fact, just before Christmas I bought a new SD card, and during my trip to Poland completely filled it - literally thousands of photos taken, which now need sorting through (deleting most of them) and picking out some nice ones to share for my next Dear New York post.
I've always been a fan of your photography so I am thrilled that you've been picking up your camera more. My goal was to have something to focus on when I moved to NYC; to make my camera my friend so that I had a pal to go out and explore with while we were settling and I was waiting for my work permit. Little did I know that I would remember my passion for photography and it would become an extension of my arm (to Ed's dismay... no matter what, with a camera attached to my hip, I'll always look like a tourist in Manhattan).
So, the purpose of the post? Let’s look back at each others' pictures, and choose the ones we think are the Best of 2016!
Will’s Top 3 New York Photos:
One: The Intrepid from 'Dear London - a post of memories'
I am a big fan of symmetry in photos, and this is something I think you do very well - there are a number of pictures that are very nicely centred and you use the natural environment to give a beautiful balance to many of your photos. It was difficult for me to pick between this one and a beautiful black and white photo you made of Brooklyn Bridge, however this one won out - I really like the contrast between the two sides of the picture, and it is very well executed in my opinion. I also really just like big boats.
Two: Sponteneity from 'Dear London - Summer streets'
Sometimes it is nice how things around just come together to make up a brilliant shot. It is of course up to the photographer to recognise (and predict) these moments and have the camera at the ready. This photo really sums this up for me. You were in the right place at the right time and had the perfect opportunity to capture a really spontaneous moment from a group of bikers, and you captured it brilliantly. Some excellent street photography!
Three: Frames from 'Dear London - Vigilante Art'
I’m not sure what it says about me, but all of the photos I chose were in black and white and this one is no exception. I love in this how you recognised a really beautiful frame, with the beautiful pattern of the old bridge emerging from the bushes; you got yourself in the best position for the desired effect, and waited for the person the be in the correct spot to complete the image. You used both natural frames and leading lines to draw the eye, and it is a really lovely photo.
This was, of course, not an easy selection to make - there were some really superb photos taken this year and limiting myself to just three was difficult. What I did I really like during this selection was how it is very easy to see how much we have improved since we started, and how many new techniques and subjects we used.
Elishia's Top 3 London Photos:
One: Leading lines from 'Dear New York - Natural Frames of London'
I feel we're in trouble because I'm starting off with another black and white image... clearly, we're both drawn in by the nostalgic tones, but it does make sense. Black and white photography is reminiscent of photography in its early stages, it feels classic and honest and makes me think of classic photographers that I really admire. I chose this image because it reminds me of one of my favorite images by one of my favorite street photographers, Henri-Cartier Bresson. The leading lines of this image are so clean and the reflection of the cyclist is beautifully positioned - this image captures a second in time and I love the sponteneity of sreet photography.
Two: St Pauls from - 'Dear MRS New York'
Again, it's black and white! I think we'll definitely need to challenge ourselves with color this year - 2017, the year of color! The structure of St Paul's is already very interesting with the combination of curves and straight lines, but the perspective from which you took the shot is what makes this such a special image. I love that not only are the birds in flight, but their flight path and the angle of the building work together to draw the eye from one corner of the picture to another.
Three: Big Ben from - 'Dear New York'
We have some color! This is truly a spectacular image and I am even more impressed by it because I spent hours trying to use the technique and just couldn't deliver an image of such excellent quality. The lights create a wonderful sense of movement towards the viewer, and it makes the viewer (spectator?...appreciator?) engaged in the image. The lights are vibrant and contrast excellently with the jet black sky and despite all that is going on in this image, it still feels quiet, as though I am alone on the street.
I am very proud of what we have both achieved this last year, and super excited about what challenges we are going to give each other in 2017!
As you know, I've been dabbling with portraits for a while now, but that apparently doesn't make me immune to some of the most rookie mistakes. I managed to sneak in a quick shoot before Christmas but was so absorbed by the wonderful, treasured, light that we were given on a mild December day, that I forgot to adjust my white balance for each new location. Because it was so bright, I couldn't see that the images were incredibly drab and nowhere near a true reflection of the colors I was seeing or the wonderful lady I was photographing. So, this week called for some pretty dramatic edits.
I spent hours editing this shoot and I am MORE than thrilled with the outcome. Dara Orland, an actress, dancer and choreographer, was my fifth portrait shoot, and it's so exciting to see my work grow over the three months I've been taking portraits. I took three hundred and fifty images during a one-hour session… Needless to say, a lot of them were terrible as I'm still experimenting with my photographic style and testing what looks good with each new model, but here are some that I'm particularly pleased with. (Keep an eye out for the rest of the shoot in an upcoming post called “A Philadelphian in New York - Dara Orland”.)
I can't even remember taking the first image, but it has been my favorite snap from this whole shoot. It was very dark and needed a fair bit of adjustment but I just love the movement created by her hair and the way it caught the light. I played with colors on this portrait and I really feel as though it adds to the drama of the shot.
I don't know about you, but when I edit a shoot, I always start with the image that I love the most. I can't wait to play around with it and make sure that it is the most beautiful it can be. Then, towards the end of the set, my edits become a little sloppier and generally more tiresome as I try to find the best in some images that just aren't as eye-catching. The second image is the latter part of an edit. I fought with the colors of this image so much, but I was determined to find the beauty in it. As I am still a novice with editing, I often find that if I am struggling with the colors of a portrait, I'll make it black and white and the beauty I've been missing is suddenly found (some may call this lazy editing… but if the final result is a good’n, who are they to complain?).
When it comes to this week's theme I may have committed the biggest photographer crime... my camera ran out of battery when the first heavy snow hit New York and this means that I didn't get many of the magical shots I hoped for before the cars dragged mud through the fluffy, snow covered streets. I did, however, manage to get a cracking rooftop shot. So, I want to see the Rooftops of London please!
Next year's Dear New York will be coming from 2017, so have a great New Year’s and I'll see you on the other side.
New York x x
(Plus a bonus portrait from when you and Marcelina came to hang out in NYC!)
There is nothing I like more after a day of frantic Christmas shopping or frolicking in the cold (we’ve actually had snow twice now), than settling down to watch a Christmas film with a cup of chai tea.
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Dear New York,
Christmas is indeed here, and things are getting busy! Fighting against the crowds on Oxford Street to do some shopping (not an environment particularly conducive to either photography OR actual shopping!) and making sure everything at work is squared away and ship shape before my nice long breakRead More
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Dear New York,
In 1577, Sir Francis Drake set off with orders from Queen Elizabeth I to sail around the world, find advantageous ports for English shipping, explore, and generally cause havoc to the Spanish fleets. They were rich pickings at that time, with Galleons laden with gold leaving the New WorldRead More
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Dear New York,
Autumn (of Fall for you!) is definitely here, and with a vengeance. The temperature has also dropped very quickly, and the days are certainly much shorter than they were. I find myself regularly leaving work after dark (not because I work particularly late, but because sunset is now so early!) and we are in the quiet space when it is dark outside, but the Christmas lights haveRead More
A week has passed since your visit and when the weekend came around we felt that we should be going out to meet up with you to have an adventure. Manhattan is an island full of treats and although we did a lot, we barely scratched the surface with you, and we were ready to go off and explore new and exciting pockets with you. I thought that you may have been missing New York so I'll tell you about our day.Read More