The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

abundantly able

with 4 comments

Hot time, summer in the city…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While wandering around recently, on a particularly warm and sticky day, the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself seemed positively fixed upon the humid surface of Queens. A humble narrator was wearing his summer costume, which includes a white shirt and hat, but regardless of this – shelter from its radiation was required. As one made his way eastwards long Queens Boulevard, the cement overpass which carries the IRT Flushing line subway offered surcease from the emanations, and since I have always thought it a visually interesting place, I got busy with the camera shutter.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Shadow and bright sunlight offer an interesting quandary to the roving photographer, given the high contrast and conflicting exposure triangles needed for both. The particular late afternoon light encountered, however, was casting long shadows punctuated by shafts of white hot light.

The burning thermonuclear eye of god itself, indeed.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Huitzilopochtli or Tonatiuh, Apollo or Helios, Surya, Shamash, Nyambi, Ra – everybody had a name for the deity of the sun, and they were almost always warrior gods who required some sort of appeasement. Sol Invictus was what the Romans called it, as in the “unconquered sun.”

A humble narrator grew up in a monotheist tradition however, so my perception of the nuclear fireball in the sky is that of a single unblinking eye set into the starry face of an extra dimensional intelligence who keeps count of how many times each and every human being has masturbated.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

Upcoming Tours and Events

Thursday, July 11, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

“Infrastructure Creek” Walking Tour w Newtown Creek Alliance

If you want infrastructure, then meet NCA historian Mitch Waxman at the corner of Greenpoint Avenue and Kingsland Avenue in Brooklyn, and in just one a half miles he’ll show you the largest and newest of NYC’s 14 sewer plants, six bridges, a Superfund site, three rail yards with trains moving at street grade (which we will probably encounter at a crossing), a highway that carries 32 million vehicle trips a year 106 feet over water. The highway feeds into the Queens Midtown Tunnel, and we’ll end it all at the LIC ferry landing where folks are welcome to grab a drink and enjoy watching the sunset at the East River, as it lowers behind the midtown Manhattan skyline.

Click here for ticketing and more information.

Saturday, July 13, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

“Exploring the East River, From General Slocum Disaster
to Abandoned Islands” Boat Tour w NY Adventure Club

Onboard a Soundview route NYC Ferry – Join New York Adventure Club for a two-part aquatic adventure as we explore the General Slocum disaster, and historic sights and stories along the East River, all by NYC Ferry.

Click here for ticketing and more information.

Buy a book!

In the Shadows at Newtown Creek,” an 88 page softcover 8.5×11 magazine format photo book by Mitch Waxman, is now on sale at for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

July 9, 2019 at 1:15 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Ever try shooting for high dynamic range processing? It can look unnatural but you get detail in the highlights and shadows. Give it a whirl.

    georgetheatheist . .. spank the monkey

    July 9, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    • i have, and bracketing works too, but I try to do it “in camera” as much as possible these days. I’ll noodle the raw file a bit here and there (color temp, brightness, shadow depth etc.) but in camera is the way to go

      Mitch Waxman

      July 9, 2019 at 2:36 pm

      • Would appreciate you showing me and the readers an example of a before and after “in camera” corrected image and compare that side by side with an exact same view that has been created by the hdr procedure. I bet there’s a marked substantial difference. Thanks.

        georgetheatheist . . . spank the monkey

        July 9, 2019 at 6:31 pm

      • good idea for a post, thx. The next several days worth fo photos are in production, so whatever I shoot tomorrow… also, difference isn’t substantial, as mentioned – brightness, contrast, color temp

        Mitch Waxman

        July 9, 2019 at 8:18 pm

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