NYC - Calatrava Transit Hub

NYC is the best city on Earth but at times i feel it falls short when it comes to Architecture. Yes we have classics: 30 Rock, Seagram, Lever House and Guggenheim. However I yearn for more dynamism. Well things are looking up.

The Transit Hub designed by Santiago Calatrava is the newest addition to our Citiscape and it delivers.

I showed up with a 20mm lens on my Nikon FF camera and shot away. Here are my faves.

 

A cathedral in white.

Landscape view showing observation platform

Close-up of the observation platform and it's organic structure

View from the inside looking out. Wings reaching out to classic NYC

Staring at the same set of buildings as the BW above but this time outside-looking-in and enjoying the reflections.  Old vs New!  Obvious but cool.

Super-high contrast.  Eye candy. Great clouds, shapes and shadows.

A great organic 'leaf' obscuring the buildings behind as it rises from the ground

The is a repeat of the last image but it is so graphic that I had to include it.  Maybe it needed to be left out but oh well

Istanbul - Passages and Doorways

Two iconic structures in Istanbul; The Hagia Sophia and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque). Both incredible structures, both a stones throw from each other. Each with a distinct personality.

The Hagia Sophia is dark, massive and brooding, showing visible scars of the various religious movements that occupied this structure since construction started in 537. It took close to a thousand years to complete and during that time it was an Greek Orthodox Basilica, the seat of the Roman Catholic church, a mosque and now a museum.

The Blue Mosque is an equally incredible structure from outside. Symmetrical, cascading domes with 6 minarets that clearly establish its importance and footprint. The interior is completely different, huge volume, light and airy and clearly a testament to a higher power. The building took only 7 years to complete (finished in 1616).

Photo 1 - Courtyard of the Blue Mosque looking at the main structure

Photo 2 - Doorway inside the Hagia Sophia. Massive wood doors, (I love the light on the door face)

Photo 3 - Small hallway in the Hagia Sophia leading to the apse (Amazing colors)

Photo 4 - Doorway viewing the Hagia Sophia (love the green doors with the

Photo 5 - Doorway viewing the Blue Mosque

Istanbul Streets

Most of these pictures are taken on the Galata side of the Golden Horn opposite the Old Town. We were surprised at how intense and busy this side of town is.  Plenty of opportunities for street photography. I was constantly amazed at how people love posing for pictures. There are couple of pictures where a group of people are smiling for my camera. I was taken aback by this behavior as it is so different from the states. It speaks to the warmth and friendliness of Turkish people.


Downtown Manhattan

Signs of spring, finally. Time to explore. Worker-bees have been busy and things are starting to shape up downtown. Pictures of the Fulton Train station oculus and the 911 commemorative park.

Christmas Eve 2014 - All about family

Many cocktails, many laughs and many pictures. So blessed to be around people I love and so blessed to remember to have captured these images. Imagine how the value of these moments will increase over time! Merry Christmas!

#MillionsMarchNYC - 12142014

Peaceful, powerful, cross-representational and well attended. Gatherings like this happen when a tipping point has been reached. People come because they care, they need to be heard, they need to enact change and change needs to happen.

Milet Amphitheater - Turkey

Another amazing Architectural ruin in Turkey. No one here and simply incredible. Half the fun was getting there.  Relied totally on the GPS as it bought us through neighborhoods and streets not found on any tourist map. Great way to unplug!

Interesting factoid from Wikipedia - Milet is the birthplace of the Hagia Sofya's architect, Isidor of Meletus (he also invented the flying buttress).  He was also a Greek philosopher and one of the Seven Sages of Greece c. 624 BC. His advice - "Know Thyself"

Didim Turkey - Street Photography

Getting away from the glitz and glamor of Bodrum gave us an opportunity to peek into the non-touristy side of Turkey. Our drive up to Didim bought us through small towns and neighborhoods where we met many locals that were incredibly warm, welcoming and friendly.

Plus these people love to have cameras pointed at them. That was very new for me :)

The group of boys in the photo are posing under a collapsed column at the temple of Apollo. They slipped through a fence and were very watchful of the security guy. I am sure he knows them all by name.

Bodrum - Entries, Windows and Alleys

We love doors and windows because we can relate to them. When we travel, we see these elements that are so familiar to us done in a different manner and it fascinates us. The design vocabulary relates to who these people are while conveying meaning, helping us to maybe get closer and maybe understand and appreciate better.

Bodrum Peninsula

Only the surface was scratched. Amazing possibilities...

Please click on image to see it larger

Please click on the pictures below to see a full size image

Bodrum - People

Some moments from Bodrum:

  • A group of old timers playing bocce along the shore, in Speedos of course
  • Sun is setting, the girls are hanging out beach side, reading the paper, having a cigarette and some beers
  • It's September, long shadows are cast
  • Beach side dining. Bodrum castle is in the background, home of 15th century Knights that have come from Rhodes. Time for some seafood, mezzes and cocktails
  • Sparklers for a birthday celebration. Faces glow with happiness and appreciation. Fun with friends and family

Please click on the images for a larger version....

Thanks for coming :)

Arches Everywhere...

As I started to go through the photographs of Rhodes I noticed a large amount of images with arches.

Probably not much a surprise as some of the areas we visited, like the Medieval City of Rhodes are well...Medieval. And the arch played a crucial role in these ancient stone cities.

Arches were a key architectural innovation, as they allowed for efficient and safe distribution of weight and as a result were used to support the massive weight of these buildings while allowing the designers to create openings in the outer building skin as well as interior volumes in unprecedented ways.

Living in the U.S., a country with a comparatively short architectural history as well as a country that tends to tear down and rebuild, we do not many opportunities to experience ancient structures like those found in other parts of the world.

So when we do, it is time to go trigger happy and shoot shoot shoot. And then come home and enjoy the memories and continue to be amazed by the world around us.

Click if you want to see it larger....

Rodos People

When traveling, taking pictures of locals living life is an important element of trying to understand the place and its culture.  Moments that capture details like expressions or how people dress or what makes them gather provide clues that inform and lead to a fuller experience and appreciation for what we are witnessing. Sounds heavy but it is not. Many of these moments are light, comedic, warm and engaging.

Engagement leads to understanding which results in respect, which is pretty cool.

Some moments that I enjoyed in these photos:

  • The boy in the photo looks out over the ocean and dreams of what kids will dream of
  • The swim school instructor has the attention of most everyone
  • An older couple gaze through a picture window at youth and remember their own
  • A crazy diving platform in the middle of the water, what an amazing idea!
  • Life at the dock - fishing, barbeque corn, a bride shows up on a boat for a wedding

LA Philharmonic - Gehry

Frank Gehry buildings are like that shiny new thing that captures your eye and makes it move and dance all over the place. 

Our eyes love movement. And that movement intensifies when we stare at things that engage us.

An amazing work of art, a photograph, a beautiful face, all grab our attention as our eyes follow shapes and details.

Gehry buildings have many of these qualities: sexy, smooth, slick and ever changing. They are a feast for the eye.

It was a grey foggy morning in LA, the light was not that great but it did not matter too much, it was easy to get lost in the viewfinder playing with the crazy angles while capturing the forms and shapes.

Try to catch a Gehry building during the golden hour. The sun lights up the aluminum skin; combining with dark rich blue skies to create amazing polychromatic effects. Fun for the eye and fun for the soul!

NYC Pride 2014

"if you're not in the parade, you watch the parade.  That's life"

- Mike Ditka

Not this parade. 

To me, parades were always like watching a party from outside. Peering through the window of the porch while the people inside have fun.

The great thing about the NYC Pride Parade is that there is as much fun on the sidewalk as there is on the street...maybe more fun?

Happy people, smiling faces, beautiful summer day. You can't go wrong.

Find an excuse to celebrate life!

Getty Museum

I am not usually a fan of visiting museums when on vacation.

Maybe it is because I am spoiled living in an area with so many museums and galleries.

Please click on image

Maybe it is because time is precious and I would rather experience people and places.

A common fear I have is that I am missing the fun, missing an amazing part of my destination and I hate that feeling, life is too short.

While researching things to do in LA, The Getty Museum came up as a must place to visit. I have a serious love of Architecture so I thought this would be a great experience in many ways, and it does not hurt that the museum is an iconic work of the amazing Richard Meier.

Richard, a native New Jersey resident (Newark), is an acclaimed modern architect whose design vocabulary is influenced by such greats as Mies Van der Rohe and one of my all time favorites, Le Corbusier.  In fact many of the elements seen in the Getty Museum are clearly visible in works by Le Corbusier.

But Meier did not simply copy Le Corbusier, , he evolved the language of form and structure and as evidenced in the Getty Museum. And in this building he has created a masterpiece that engages you, uplifts you and that touches your inner soul in the way great architectural achievements do.

The majority of our visit was spent outdoors exploring the nooks and crannies, so we never really went inside to appreciate the works. 

Next time, I promise we will look inside, that is of course unless there is a spectacular sunset and the golden hour lights the museum in that special way....

Thanks for looking!

Mermaids

For a larger image, click!

The Mermaid Parade in Coney Island has been on my list of things to do for years.  The stars finally aligned, the weather cooperated and I was off to see the scaly sea creatures of NYC.

Memories of Coney Island (Astroland) from my youth are not so great. The place was hurting, seedy and pretty dangerous, all good reasons for not taking the R Train 45 stops to Brooklyn.

Since 2010, the amusement park was re-named, Luna Park.  Which is a return to its original name from the early 1900's.

A parade in Coney Island is a great combination of things.  With an iconic backdrop and populated with outlandish New Yorkers you can't go wrong.

I have shot parades before but this time, I wanted a different approach.

My goal was to shoot the perimeter of this event and not so much the event itself.  The perimeter is where you get to see the rough edges, where things are not so well defined, where a tension exists between the purpose of the event and the clamor that surrounds and contains the core dynamism of motion, the fluidity of purpose, the reason for the gathering....the parade.

Thanks for looking.

-paul


Leaving the boat graveyard...

As I was leaving, I almost missed the abandoned boat wheelhouse hiding in the weeds.  The outside walls had an amazing decaying blue finish, the raw wood showing underneath, creating a blond vertical striping, matching the weeds and almost hiding the structure. 

The best news: the door was ajar, which meant I could get out of the cold and wind and maybe change a lens.

I took a couple of external establishing shots, allowing the low winter light to flare in my viewfinder. Having fun and playing with the angles, while my fingers were freezing, trying to work the shot.

The views inside were excellent and they were in perfect harmony with the views outside. 

Click on the image below to see more photos.

Thanks for visiting!