The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Posts Tagged ‘Hells Gate

turned restlessly

with one comment

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As it turned out, February 23rd was a three Borough day for me. Woke up in Queens, hit the Bronx and then Manhattan, and then went back to sleep in Queens. I’ve since had a four Borough day which you’ll see in a couple of weeks. There’s also a two City day in the mix. When it’s reliably warm again, I plan on a 5 Borough day which will involve the entire solar cycle. Given how far ahead of schedule my photos are at this point – you’ll probably be seeing that in late June.

I had an unusually prolific and mission oriented winter and early springtime this year. I’m making up for lost time during the pandemic, and there’s something else on the horizon which is going to be pretty major and is going to absolutely rock my world. That’s something I’m going to be talking about a bit later on in the year.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s a pedestrian bridge, officially called the Wards Island Bridge (aka the 103rd street Pedestrian Bridge) which spans the Harlem River. It’s a vertical lift bridge which allows Manhattanites access to Randall’s/Wards Island. The Harlem River is a tidal strait connecting the Hudson River and East River. The bridge opened for use in 1951.

The light began to fail, as Manhattan’s long shadows began to envelop the waters of the East and Harlem Rivers.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You always hope that you’re going to get a “real” sunset with oranges and crimson painting the vault of the sky, but nine times out of ten you don’t. Damned oceanic climate zone…

Oh well, might as well make the best of it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Since I was all set up for a long exposure sunset, one set upon capturing a few shots of the type seen above and below.

Since I’m often asked to do presentations on this or that subject, photos which I can set type onto are oft needed. Thereby, my shots list always includes capturing ones with large fields of color that I can fill up with the sort of drivel that a scholastic audience expects.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It had been a long and kind of fun day for me, and right after the shot above was captured, the kit was packed up and the camera reset back to handheld shooting mode.

For the curious – remove the filter from the lens, as well as the shutter release cable, turn the lens stabilization system back on, pack up the tripod.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A quick ferry ride from East 90th street to Astoria occurred, and soon I was standing alongside Hallets Cove here in Queens. A half hour of scuttling brought me back to HQ.

Tomorrow – something different at thisyour Newtown Pentacle.


“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

April 12, 2022 at 11:00 am

somewhat shamefaced

with 2 comments

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Camera in hand, lonely and friendless, filthy black raincoat snapping about in the hard wind of late winter. Sometimes I’m on a boat.

Having grown up in southeast Brooklyn (Canarsie/Flatlands), one’s native speech pattern is best described by recitations of the “Brooklyn Alphabet.” “Fuckin A, Fuckin B, go fuck yourself C, kiss my ass D” and so on. This is part of my heritage, and the Brooklyn accent of my parents would pronounce common words such as birds as “boids,” toilet as “terlet,” and oil as “erl.” As an adult, an attempt is made to show a finer veneer to all of the fancy pants people I meet. Dis is da struggol you gots when’s you growed up in Brooklyn.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Thereby, one has embraced creative expressions of surprise for my daily use that don’t include the use of Brooklyn vernacular. Lately, I’m embracing ones like “by the misty mountains of Kuala Lampur” or “Great galloping Ganesh.” I don’t know if Kuala Lampur actually has mountains or not, or whether the beloved Hindu deity is known to gallop – but since Ganesh is an elephant, it probably would have a certain proclivity towards the occasional gallop – if only for shits and giggles.

“Holy jumping Jesus” is also another one of my refrains although scripture never mentions the Christian Savior as leaping about. My Lebanese buddy Sal has instructed me in the many possible usages of Allah u Akbar (god is great), which is the Islamic equivalent of Aloha or Shalom in terms of being an omnivorous response one is able to deploy in a variety of circumstances. New Baby? Allah U Akbar! Your mom died? Allah U Akbar… Sal has informed me that it’s all about inflection.

Saying all that, whether Ganesh or Allah or Jesus, you’re probably accidentally pissing someone off with an off hand religious reference, so “by the misty mountains of Kuala Lampur” it is.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Riding back home on the NYC ferry from the Bronx, I got to exclaim “Holy Homeland Security” when I spotted this NYPD Harbor unit boat performing that particular mission for our ferry boat. Not too long ago, I was riding on the Staten Island Ferry and a couple of tourist types asked me why the Coast Guard was following our big orange boat with machine guns deployed while we navigated from Manhattan to… Staten Island…

They really couldn’t put it together about how big a target a ferry boat might be for the bad guys. I’d tell you who the villains are, but I’m not really sure anymore. Are we still mad at the Arabs? If so, I’ll let Sal know. As mentioned, he’s Lebanese, so not too big a fan of the Arabs.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It was nearly sunset, and an executive decision was arrived at to debark the boat at East 90th street, alongside Gracie Mansion, and find a spot to get set up with the tripod as the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself dipped behind New Jersey.

Along the way, I couldn’t help but get a shot or two of the natural light painting occurring on the Hell Gate and Triborough Bridges.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

At East 90th, I took a minute to sit down and chill for a minute, then got busy again. If you set up a camera on a tripod and say “Eric Adams” three times, there’s a 40/60 chance he’ll appear, just like Candyman or Bloody Mary. Didn’t work this time, though.

This area at E 90th, by the way, is more or less the famous spot where the old Astoria Route ferry dock was found. The one that Robert Moses destroyed, an incident which Robert Caro wrote about in Power Broker.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The burning thermonuclear eye of god itself was already beginning to disappear behind New Jersey as I found and claimed my spot.

From the looks I was getting from the passerby, you’d think that I had just released a kite into a thunderstormwhile laughing maniacally, in preparation of bringing a homemade monster to life. Really?

More tomorrow.


“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

April 11, 2022 at 11:00 am

puerile kind

leave a comment »

Monday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Now that’s what I call fog, baby. A promising weather report drew me over to the East River’s Hells Gate section, which paid off for a humble narrator. For these shots, I was using the Ultrapod camera support that I’ve mentioned in the past. Said device is a metal plate with four feet under it, and a tripod ball head mounted right in its center on top. This gizmo allows me to place the camera into fairly odd places, including right down on the sidewalk or onto the ledge of the Shore Blvd. retaining wall. Don’t worry, the camera’s strap was still firmly attached to my person.

That’s the Hell Gate Bridge, as if you didn’t already know that.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

When an NYC Ferry boat, operating on the Soundview Route, came speeding by I quickly readjusted what the camera was pointed at and changed my lens. I was quick enough to catch the displacement wave of the ferry’s passing impacting the shoreline here in Astoria. It’s dark down there, so I set the exposure to about 30 seconds, which is why the wave water looks like smoke or mist in the shot above.

The fog helped me with this shot, as a note, since it allowed for the diffusion of illuminated light coming from Randall’s/Wards Island and the Triborough Bridge.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of mighty Triborough…

This is, of course, just a part of the bridge complex known as Triborough and it’s specifically the East River suspension bridge section.

Fog, baby, fog.


“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

February 14, 2022 at 11:00 am

fantastic handiwork

with 6 comments

Again, Friday?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Gaze at your navel, lords and ladies. One found himself in lucky circumstance on the night of a full moon, as the satellite’s relative position to the ancient village of Astoria provided for a line up with the cruciform adorning a local Christian meeting house. I’ve always wondered about why certain sects of Nazarene worship build fortresses as their sacred spaces. Guess it has a lot to do with European culture and history. American variants of Christianity abandon the masonry and curtain walls of these fortress building schemes, preferring instead auditorium style buildings made of wood. I’ve never encountered a church made of straw, nor witnessed a Big Bad Wolf trying to blow down a church, but there’s got to be a connection.

Ask a physicist to calculate it, since a humble narrator is shit at basic arithmetic let alone higher mathematics, but I’ve often wondered how many mega jeules of energy Yahweh must have channeled through the atmosphere to resurrect junior. The rest of the Bible indicates that with a few exceptions, Yahweh operates within the internal rules of it’s own universal constants. Didn’t just dissolve reality with a snap in the Noah story, Yahweh used a global flood instead. Sodom and Gomorrah were taken down using an obviously volcanic mechanism as well.

Let’s presume it’s all true, this predicate…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Potential energy is what’s contained, chemically speaking, in all of Yahweh’s compounds and elements. Gasoline, by weight, holds a higher potentiality than a similar amount of wood or stone. It also doesn’t take too much in the way of added energy to get gasoline to begin releasing its chemically stored energy – just a spark will ignite it and get the process going. You want to burn wood, or stone? Both require significantly higher amounts of energy to get the ball rolling. Theoretically, the universal “Big Bang” started when a single particle encountered a spark powerful enough to detonate its chemical bonds. (I know it’s a lot more complicated than that)

This is why gasoline is good to use as fuel. Since this relationship between matter and energy – from a believer’s point of view – is all part of god’s plan, that indicates that the law of thermodynamics and the other theoretical underpinnings of Empirical thought are also revelatory as far as how that extra dimensional creature’s design for the universe was intended to operate. As mentioned above, the book which many say chronicles humanity’s interactions and observations with this supreme being backs up the idea that within the confines of its created universe – at least – Yahweh follows its own set of rules. Water is wet, fire is hot, energy cannot be created nor destroyed, objects set into motion will continue to move until another force acts on them. It’s quite simple, really. Newton was a deist, and the Catholic Church actually does fairly interesting Astronomy work these days, so I’m not wandering too far afield of the prelates here.

The homunculus which Yahweh spawned and was incarnated as within a human woman, presuming the virgin birth storyline is accurate, would have required a lightning bolt worth of introduced energy to begin gametogenesis, but that could have been redirected from atmospheric static electricity or universal background radiation – child’s play for the architect of mountain ranges and oceans. After the crucifixion, however, reanimating what was likely 130-150 pounds of dead human tissue would require nuclear bomb levels of energy to achieve a state of fine fettle. Factor in Jesus transporting around the Middle East to visit the apostles after the resurrection and it’s easy to explain why they all said he was glowing and that they smelled roses.

Since Yahweh sits “outside the fishbowl” as it were, this wouldn’t be too much work. After all, this is the entity that created the magnetic bubble containing the sun and who set the planets and asteroids traveling in interdependent helixes. Back then, Lucifer still worked for Yahweh, of course. You can get a lot done when the sons of fire are your construction crew, especially so when your foreman is Lucifer.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Fire fixes everything – I say that a lot. The only way to make sure something is totally gone is to burn it. Saying that, when you set your car on fire you’re not actually getting rid of it, rather you’re converting matter from one form to another by releasing the energy contained in its chemical bonds by introducing thermal energy into its equation. The matter disincorporates, forming particles of smoke. Again, this is consistent with empirical thought. The materials in your car which have chemical bonds too strong to break with the relatively paltry amount of energy represented by an oxygen based fire stay behind. You’d need a fantastic amount of introduced energy to vaporize or particalize iron and steel. I think it needs to be nuclear detonation, or even “reanimate Jesus” levels of energy.

In information technology circles, you encounter the concept of a “super user” or system administrator. As a regular “user” you’re logged into the system and have certain permissions associated with your login password. Most corporate systems allow the user to operate with some freedom, but there’s certain things which only the super user or admin can do. This is sensible. The admin sits outside the fishbowl, and has a mechanism for compiling complaints and requests for help from the regular “users.” Everything the admin does has to be internally consistent with both maintaining the users and underlying technologies which allow them to perform their various functions. Often, a system administrator will set themselves up with a user account to test their setups in a protected partition called a “sandbox.”

Since Yahweh is thereby effectively a system administrator for the universe, perhaps the reason why certain sects of Christians build their churches to look like fortresses is because they’re sandboxes? Is Lucifer thereby a hacker, trying to hijack the system?

Think about that this Easter weekend, since the doors of St. Peter’s chapel in Rome will be locked as they always are between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as the throne of heaven sits ritually empty on Saturday. Easter Saturday is the devil’s day, according to occult tradition.


“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

April 2, 2021 at 2:00 pm

rather undersized

with one comment

Woh, it’s Wednesday again, and FESTIVUS!

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The images in today’s post represent a great deal of “in the field” improvisation and a minimum amount of in the studio photoshop work. They were done entirely “within camera,” which means that I didn’t do any retouching to them. Saying that, the gathering of these shots saw me changing exposure and focal points all wildly nilly. I still haven’t perfected the technique behind all this – although shots you won’t be seeing until 2021, which I gathered just the other night, suggest that the underlying logic governing what I’m doing here is finally revealing itself – but I’m pretty happy with these results. This is what I was hoping for, while I was freezing my tootsies off at the waterfront in December, so hooray.

Focus and exposure stacking, that’s what this thing I’m working on is called. The shot above was captured at f1.8, and if you click through to the original at Flickr you’ll be able to see individual rivets.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Frequent commenter George the Atheist, who is a knowledgable photographer in his own right, chides me often that I should just get on with it and do a long exposure. One often uses this technique, and long exposure has been a “thing” for me for quite a while now. Problem with long shots involving water, however, is that you lose all the surface detail in the waterbody as the long exposure shots render its as a mirror. This has it’s charms, of course, but I want the mirror AND some detail in the shot as well.

That’s what I mean when mentioning the term “intentionality.” Intentionality is the difference between a snapshot and a photograph, and the difference between “I meant to do that” and “I got lucky here.” Serendipity is awesome, but so is having an idea and then making it real.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

If I was a patient person, I’d be photographing birds or something. I’m not a patient person, so I didn’t stand there at the East River (during mid December) long enough for a railroad Locomotive to arrive and cross the Hell Gate Bridge. That would have made this one of my favorite photos of 2020. Instead, I was slavishly punching buttons and moving the various settings about on the new camera, trying to bend it to my will.

There are twelve f1.8 2 second exposures ganged up into that shot above. Around four of them are seriously underexposed, one is highly over exposed, and the rest are on meter. I love that the entire image is sharp, that there are both mirror reflections and surface texture in the shot, and there’s a fullness to its contrast. I’m not stoked about the blown out lights in the Bronx or all along the horizon. I’ve since worked out how to shoot around that. I’m also really interested in the wave patterns, and plan on experimenting with that a bit next time I’m at Hells Gate.

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, December 21st. 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 blurb.com for $30.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 23, 2020 at 11:00 am

%d bloggers like this: