The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for February 25th, 2014

tone and tenor

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Gear envy in today’s post, and the joy of photographing photographers as they photograph.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Funny thing about the part of Brooklyn wherein one finds the modern day Brooklyn Bridge Park is that, within my lifetime mind you, it has become a relatively safe place. I’ve been told tales of photography people hiring toughs and ruffians to guard their equipment around these parts to scare away trouble “back in the day,” lest the baser elements of the NY streets be allowed to pilfer expensive equipment.

People walk around like they’re safe or something these days.

Last week, your humble narrator wandered through, on a terror filled walk from venerable Red Hook to an end destination in reliable Astoria.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Observed were two photographers, but one was presumptively an assistant.

One of my smaller joys is photographing photographers as they photograph, as it satisfies some urge in me to document everything I see. Also, those of us who brandish cameras about constantly are ridiculous and are seldom ridiculed because we are out of frame when a photo is captured. I find these shots fascinating, and there are all these dramatic postures which are spontaneously displayed when photographers photograph, so whenever I can photograph photographers as they photograph, I do. I like to shoot shoots, as it were.

These guys though (I don’t mean the kid with the iPhone), profit greatly from the fact that no one is going to come and take away their stuff in modern day Brooklyn. They had something like 70 grand worth of equipment out there for all to admire. This was me, I’d have Hank the Elevator Guy and a couple of the stoutly built Croatians that populate my neighborhood in Astoria along to keep things nice and even.

Look at that lens, just look at it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My educated guess as to the identity of the lens this fellow is using, with my conjecture based purely on its physical appearance, is that it’s either a more than $10,000 Canon EF 500mm f/4L (an actual model number or variant is difficult to distinguish) or the top of the line $13,000 plus Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L. The cameras being bandied about were Canon EOS-1D X‘s, which will set you back around $7k a unit. The small black lens on the guy in the foreground’s camera costs about $2,300, and in just a few minutes, I saw about $20,000 worth of glass swapped in and out of that suitcase – the sort of lenses I dream about using let alone owning. Those tripod legs alone are about $1,500 to $3,000 each, and those tripod heads ain’t cheap either – so tack on another few thousand bucks.

Wow. All this gear for a mid-day, winter sun, outing. Me, I’m going to be there early and late, not the afternoon. The sun is at a bad angle to the City from December to Mid March, it’s the worst time of year.

These guys must have been on their way back from the Olympics in Sochi or something and had some time alone with the gear before their kit had to be returned to AP or the Times.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 25, 2014 at 9:30 am

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