The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

faery goldenness

with 3 comments

Astoria style Currier and Ives, by request, for George The Atheist.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Last week, frequent commenter George the Atheist opined that he’d like to see some wintertime landscape shots offered at this – your Newtown Pentacle – so when the snow began to fall last Saturday, a humble narrator got busy here in Astoria. The bodega/grocery store pictured above is across the street from HQ, owned by a lovely Lebanese family, and is open nineteen hours every day. They’ve recently began a lunch counter in the back of the shop, and I can recommend the Kofta Hero with everything. That is indeed a tripod shot above, but with increased ISO sensitivity and shutter speed designed to capture the individual snowflakes falling. I did a few smoother shots at lower ISO and longer shutter speeds, but the airborne snow tended to smear and disappear in a long exposure – and just illustrated the conical path which the street lamp’s light was following down to the road.

The Indian place next door to the bodega is pretty good, if you happen to be in the neighborhood. Try the Salmon Tikka.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Above is an example of what happens when you slow things down during weather and accrue some time on the camera sensor, while looking northwards up my block in the direction of one of those new LED lamps which the City has been installing. It’s a whiter and colder light than yesterday’s model of NYC street lamps, which were yellow orange. If you click through on either this or the first shot to my Flickr account, you’ll see that one was experimenting with time and sensitivity in the shots immediately before and after the ones in today’s post. Always messing about, me.

The hard part about shooting in any sort of precipitatating atmosphere doesn’t really involve the camera body (plastic shopping bag cover) but the business end of the lens itself, which quickly becomes spotted with moisture requiring maintenance polishes between shots.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Sunday last, one suddenly found himself in Astoria Park after dark and so a quick “set up” for this shot of the arches of the New York Connecting Railroad, where it feeds rail traffic onto the Hell Gate Bridge, was accomplished. The snow from Saturday was still present, and all lit up by the yellow orange sodium based lighting which is still used by the Parks Dept. I always refer to the half melted stuff as “rotting snow” for some reason.

One seems to be obsessed with decay. It would also seem that I take requests. What do you want to see? If it’s reasonable, I’ll try and shoot it.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Written by Mitch Waxman

February 21, 2018 at 11:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. Not bad, Ducky. Thanks. But where are the horses? Actually Broadway looks postcard charming. More snow views please.

    georgetheatheist . . . Walking in a winter wonderland

    February 21, 2018 at 11:40 am

  2. The Connecting RR doesn’t get enough photographic love. Come out by me, just past the Stop n’ Shop on Grand – you can get a quiet, peaceful view overlooking tree-lined tracks, out by an old gas station on the corner.


    February 21, 2018 at 2:02 pm

  3. WRT photo requests: how about the ongoing trenching along the LIRR/Amtrak mainline for the rail-connections to the ESA tunnels under Sunnyside yards. You could speculate about whatever night-time creatures might be using these tunnel connections. Trenching seems to be centered around the 39th street bridge, AFAIK. Thanks.

    PS: this MTA CC flickr link is a example of the the tranching with tunnel mouth visible
    Concrete slab pour to seal off the groundwater from penetrating the Track A approach structure. (CH061A, 02-09-2018)


    February 25, 2018 at 1:21 pm

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