The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for July 12th, 2022

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 3rd, as mentioned yesterday, found me at the Hell Gate section of the East River nearby Astoria Park and the Triborough Bridge. After hanging around the joint for about 90 minutes during what turned out to be a light show of a sunset, I packed away my zoom lenses and tripod and converted the camera over to handheld mode and attached my “night kit” lenses.

This was one of my short walks, as I call them, but ultimately I was out and about on my feet for about five hours and had walked about six miles by the time I got back to HQ.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You can have and use all the kit you can carry, and after an hour and half of futzing around with tripod and filters and fancy shooting techniques, my favorite shot of the effort are the two in today’s post – handheld and high ISO.

What are you gonna do?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

June 5th saw me hanging around HQ waiting for it to get dark and for a delivery to arrive. While I was waiting, a pack of birds descended on the forever puddle found on my next door neighbor’s roof. Next to this stagnant waterbody is my outdoor porch area, here in Astoria, so I outfitted the camera with a telephoto lens and got busy waiting for a bird to fly onto one of my wires.

Every time I try to say what kind of a bird a bird is, I get it wrong, so I just make up names for them myself. Accordingly – that’s a Peruvian Pepper Hen drying its feathers. It’s call sounded like this – GRAKKLE – which should let you know that I actually do know what kind of bird this bird is, but am smart enough not to venture any analysis of speciation.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

My back was sore, and my feet hurt, but I still wanted to get out and do “something.” Drinking at a bar just isn’t exciting to me anymore, in fact it’s become kind of a sad thing these days. Most of the “Astoria Commentariat” at my “local” really doubled down on the substance abuse thing during the pandemic, and shooting the shit with folks in downward spirals is just depressing. Hope they can catch themselves.

I decided thereby, that it would be a “ride the trains” night. Only $2.75.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The N was caught in Astoria, which carried me to the Queensboro Plaza IRT station, and the most photogenic of NYC’s subways – the 7. I hung around on the platform for the arrival and departure of several train sets, and struck up conversation with a young guy who was a bit of a railfan. “I could stand here and watch this all night,” he told me.

For me, that wasn’t the case.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I shot a few frames of the 7’s entering the station, and then hopped on an express which took me to Woodside. I waved the camera around a bit at a few other stops, mainly the ones along Queens Boulevard. Then I debarked from the system at 40th Lowery Street and walked back to HQ in Astoria, whereupon I downloaded the captured images and began the processing/developing process.

To recap – I showed up. I did the work. I went home.

“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

July 12, 2022 at 11:30 am

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