The Newtown Pentacle

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Wednesday odds and ends.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At the time of this writing, one is in a rather tough spot in terms of fresh photos with which to illustrate the glories of Western Queens, but a week long curfew and suspension of Habeus Corpus will do that to a guy. Hopefully, I’m going to have been out and about a few times between the “then” and the “now.”

So, other than worrying a lot, how did a humble narrator spend his time during the curfew week, while stuck at home?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Well, I worked on perfecting the whole “stars” thing, which involves one of those fairly complicated bits of mathematical formula calculating. There was one evening in particular when the weather was on my side, which means a low dew point and atmospheric humidity. Thing is, you’re basically flying blind when shooting the night sky – manual focus, manual everything and all you can see on the camera is a black screen. A few test shots are required to ensure that your lens is set to “infinity” and everything is sharp. That’s when the camera settings come in to play, which are also manually arrived at. None of this is as simple as it sounds, which is the way I like it – complicated. I used one of my “good” lenses for the shot above, the Sigma 18-35 f1.8.

If you’re interested in pursuing this sort of thing, there’s all sorts of online calculators out there for astrophotography which will guide you through the process of settings and so on. The calculations involved in this boil down, ultimately, to lens focal length and aperture versus the rotation of the earth. The wider the lens, the longer the exposure you can capture without the stars motion blurring. If you can’t see stars in the shot above due to reading this on a device with a small screen, click the image and it will open in Flickr with a larger preview.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One is really “raring to go” back out into Queens by now. I’ve found a new windmill to tilt my lance at over in Blissville, and am desirous of seeing the ocean again sometime soon.

Pictured above is the intersection of Queens Blvd. with Greenpoint Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue. It used to once be Greenpoint Avenue all the way to Flushing, connecting the two Dutch colonial centers, but that was a long time ago.

Note: I’m writing this and several of the posts you’re going to see for the next week at the beginning of the week of Monday, June 8th. My plan is to continue doing my solo photo walks around LIC and the Newtown Creek in the dead of night as long as that’s feasible. If you continue to see regular updates as we move into April and beyond, that means everything is kosher as far as health and well being. If the blog stops updating, it means that things have gone badly for a humble narrator.


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle


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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

June 10, 2020 at 11:00 am

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