The Newtown Pentacle

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It’s inevitable. Monday is here again.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My kit continues to evolve, and I’ve spent some of the cash which I’ve been squirreling away for the last year and change on a new camera – the Canon EOS R6 mirrorless model. One has been wanting to upgrade the camera for a while now, as my old Canon 7D’s limits have long been explored. The new camera is fairly amazing, given that its combination of a full frame sensor, and “in body image stabilization” or “IBIS,” allows one to pull off handheld shots which would have required a tripod with the older model. As you do with a new camera, I’ve been shooting and shooting.

These shots are amongst the first I cracked out with the thing, literally the day I got it. The entire day I received the thing was spent consuming the manual, which is oddly something most people don’t do. Reading the manual, I mean. Am I the only person who does this? Talking to others, it seems that I am.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

All of these shots were gathered in fairly close proximity to HQ here in Astoria, and specifically composed for the somewhat difficult capture of their subject matter. Very bright and very dark in the same frame, moving objects, small contrasty detail, etc.

In the couple of weeks since, one has been on a holy tear around Western Queens, wandering about in the night. Disturbingly, one of the things I can report to you is that things have gotten a bit mean out there – it’s been sort of “crimey” in a manner I haven’t seen since the early 1990’s. There were a couple of close calls in the industrial zone over in LIC recently, wherein encounters with denizens of the street could have gone badly were I not as fully aware of my surroundings as I continually am. During the end of the summer and most of the autumn, I’ve had my headphones stuck in my ears while listening to the usual potpourri of podcasts, audiobooks, and music. For the last few weeks, not so much, as I need all of my early warning systems to be operating at defcon 3 levels.

A bit of 1980’s advice for the coming interval is “be aware, be paranoid.”

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One of the neat features on the R6 is a flip out screen which is attached to the camera body on a pivot. A touch screen, I’m able to control camera functions using it, and when the gizmo is up on a tripod I don’t have to contort my posture to see what I’m doing in the dark. This also allows me to achieve shot angles which formerly required me to lie down on the sidewalk or stand on something.

It’s been a lot of fun working out how to operate the thing over the last couple of weeks, and one has been on an absolute tear with it. Unfortunately, one feature on the thing I really haven’t been able to test is it’s revolutionary eye tracking autofocus mode, since I’m avoiding human contact as much as possible right now.


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, November 30th. 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 here, 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 for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

November 30, 2020 at 11:30 am

Posted in Astoria, MTA, Northern Blvd.

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