The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for December 16th, 2019

when interrupted

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When the weather outside is frightening…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Heroic amounts of rain impeded one in his various goals last week, but after a long and unwanted orthopedic hermitage, I was not going to let a torrential downpour or five get in the way of things. There were Newtown Creek meetings to attend, holiday parties to show my face at, and all sorts of things which needed doing. Also, quite frankly, the level of boredom which the last month and half of sitting around has induced is nearly at a toxic level.

I decided that the narrowest amount of camera gear which I absolutely needed to carry around with me was going to have to suffice. Nothing that didn’t fit into the pockets of my filthy black raincoat or my hoodie sweatshirt was ultimately required for nocturnal movement in a wet city.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One does not like employing umbrellas, given that I’ve only got two arms. Were one an arachnid rather a primate, I’d embrace the things. Every time I’m forced to use one of these portable rain yurts, it occurs to me that it would be efficacious to have it mounted somehow in the manner of a backpack. Having the handle of an umbrella affixed to the spinal column would allow me the use of both hands. I’ve tried various methodologies over the years to jury rig umbrellas to my torso, but no satisfactory solution to my problem has emerged, other than the realization that I would require additional limbs to manage the thing and operate the camera simultaneously.

Accordingly, my various endeavors last week saw me using no umbrella at all, and sticking to the “rain shadows” offered by structures. My camera was worn under the filthy black raincoat, and deployed at opportune moments. More often than not, I only had a single lens with me, the 24mm f2.8 pancake model which has been mentioned before. When I did carry a second, it was a 50mm prime, but I don’t recall using it all last week. It’s a challenge safely changing lenses in a driving rain.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

With the exception of the first shot in today’s post, I didn’t use a tripod or camera support mechanism at all during this rainy interval. It was nice, actually, to just wave the device around and not have to worry about the esoteric and highly specific checklist I normally observe during night shooting excursions.

One has been intending to sharpen up his wet weather camera technique anyway, so last week ended up serving me well.

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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

December 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Posted in newtown creek

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