The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘newtown creek

cut classes

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Happy Thanksgiving week, which I’m taking off. Single image posts will greet you between now and Monday the 30th of November. I’ll be out taking pictures, in between dodging microbiotal clouds of expirant and looking over my shoulders for other sources of existential danger.

Today’s photo displays what’s happened to some of the yellow cabs during this pandemic season of ours. Notice that the cars are stripped of both medallions and placed advertising materials. That water is the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek, in the Long Island City section of Queens.

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 23rd. 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

November 24, 2020 at 11:00 am

stagger back

with 2 comments

Friday odds and ends.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

One finds himself constantly exhausted by and annoyed by all of these online Zoom meetings, as opposed to the sort of in person meeting fatigue that was experienced in the “before times.” On the plus side, I don’t find myself traveling around to some dusty school cafeteria or office building annex to be told by Governmental employees that something is impossible due to some arcane regulatory prohibition. Conversely, I don’t like being told no when I’m sitting in my own kitchen back at HQ. There’s also a whole lot of non verbal communication which gets lost – I’ve taken to describing my various postures, laser like stares, and other physical “tells” to whomsoever it is I’m talking to, as there’s a whole lot of communicative indication which don’t translate on video conferencing.

Y’know, it didn’t have to be like this, and if everybody had taken this plague seriously back in spring and summer we’d likely be half way back to normal by now instead of negotiating “new normal.” Idolators, that’s what you anti maskers are.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The shots in today’s post didn’t fit into the other offerings this week, so they’re lumped together in an odd fashion today. The sheer scale of Long Island City’s Degnon Terminal Industrial Business Zone (IBZ) is staggering, and you never quite get past that when wandering the seemingly narrow sidewalks lining the massive factory buildings in this area. These are old school double wide factory sidewalks, btw, notice how that garbage truck in the lower right corner of the shot above only takes up half of the pavement?

Luckily, these old dinosaur factories have found new utility and life in recent years. Light industrial usages – commercial printing, garment assembly, etc. have recently found their way here. You want to talk about blue collar employment, you have to talk Newtown Creek or you’re just virtue signaling.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Speaking of my beloved Creek, here’s a shot of the Dutch Kills tributary in LIC, part of the series I’ve been presenting all week here at Newtown Pentacle.

If you haven’t added your email to the subscription function here at WordPress, or followed me on Twitter ( @newtownpentacle ), you’re missing out on free daily updates full of photos from places most seldom see. I go to these places so you don’t have to.

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 16th. 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

November 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm

livid marks

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned yesterday, one spent some time playing around with the camera at a very familiar and often visited spot – the Dutch Kills tributary of Newtown Creek in Long Island City. Also mentioned, one was goofing around with a technique called Focus Stacking, which the images in yesterday and today’s posts are a product of.

I really like the way these shots rendered out, and plan on experimenting with this sort of thing a bit more in the future.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That’s some of the legendary black mayonnaise sediment bed pictured above, where it shoals out of the water at low tide. This shot is a bit beyond normal human visual range, as a note. When I was shooting it, those three ducks looked like rocks and were entirely immersed in shadow.

I won’t bore you with the technique again, but if you wave a camera around regularly, hit YouTube and type focus stacking in – there’s a million tutorials on how to do it.

Funnily enough, this technique is something I’ve always associated and applied it to product photography and macro work than I have with landscape.

Ya can learn something new everyday, I tell’s ya.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

That little tree growing out from under that factory building is something I’ve been obsessed with all year. As above, so below, huh?

A friend told me that it’s likely a “Tree of Heaven,” which is the eponymous cultivar of the book “A tree grows in Brooklyn.” To me, it’s symbolic of the fact that no matter how badly we’ve screwed up the environment, nature will find a way.

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 16th. 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

November 18, 2020 at 11:00 am

chanting mournfully

with 5 comments

Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Dutch Kills is a tributary of the fabulous Newtown Creek whose course runs entirely through Long Island City. The canalized waterway is hideously polluted, and you should thank your lucky stars that photographs do not transmit odoriferous information. These photos were gathered while standing on the Hunters Point Avenue Bridge, and were created by a fairly complicated bit of “Camera Fu.” A regular one shot image is normally captured using some combination of aperture/sensitivity/speed. The images in today’s post are actually several images that are married together using a technique called “focus stacking.” This technique allowed me to use a wide open aperture of f1.8 – which would normally be quite blurry in all but a few inches of focal area. Instead, by moving the point of focus around the composition and capturing up to 9 images in one compositional set up, I’m able to combine them all during the developing phase in photoshop.

Focus stacking in low light allows for dramatically shorter exposure times, and also allows changing lighting conditions to mix and merge. The technique also helps with getting control over a particular pickle encountered in urban low light photos – harsh street and passing vehicle lights.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The wider aperture and quicker exposure time also combats a flaw which long exposure shots suffer from, which is the erasure of any texture for the water in favor of rendering a smooth mirror like surface. The waters of Dutch Kills are typically quite still and mirror like to start with, and they really don’t need any assistance on this front. It’s about getting the photo to look the way you want it to, right?

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, one was ironically seeking out fall foliage here in the concrete devastations of LIC, but then I found some.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’m looking forward to experimenting with this technique over the winter months, actually. A few interesting results have been arrived at by mixing exposures during photo stacks, as well as the focal points. A seriously underexposed photo mixed in with a series that had blow out whites due to street lighting saw a lot of that underexposed detail get mixed into the final product that was lost in the “proper” exposures. Interesting. Very interesting.

Never, ever, stop learning and experimenting with your tools.

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 16th. 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

November 17, 2020 at 11:00 am

shapeless robe

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Thursday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Maspeth Avenue Plank Road allows for and offers a few fairly unique points of view, along that river of urban neglect called the Newtown Creek. It’s one of my favorite spots in Western Queens, and if you’re there at the right time of day there’s a spectacular display of light painting both the water and the industrial zone surrounding it in oranges and golds. Lovely.

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, while shooting at this location, a somewhat distant “pop” and then a “whoosh” was audible and echoed evidently.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It turns out that the water main feeding a fire hydrant – one which has been mentioned a couple of times this week – had popped open while I was shooting. Back in May of this year, flowing water was encountered in this area, but that flooding was occurring because of a different reason. I jokingly called it “Furman’s Creek.”

Of course, while shooting that post, I wasn’t on the Newtown Creek side of the hill as the water was pushing through. In today’s shots, it was flooding right towards me, and I was basically caught between two waterways, feeling like a fool.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The channel carved out by the Furman’s Creek flow quickly filled and began to overflow. Normal persons would react to this sort of thing by getting out of the way of a torrent of water rushing down a hill at them, but I’m a seasoned urban photographer, so… schmuck with a camera mode.

I wasn’t being vainglorious, mind you, rather I was keeping a close eye on the flow and increasing depth of the cataract. A plan was hatched, and a benchmark level calculated, for escape. Saying that, I had a few minutes before the water was going to rise high enough for me to have to walk into it, so I got busy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The flow ultimately was heading into Newtown Creek, flattening and spreading out over the concrete plinth found at the end of the Plank Road site. What you’re looking at above is a rapidly flowing bunch of water roughly a yard across and 2-3 inches deep.

By the time I made my escape, the water had subsumed the entire plinth and was about 5-6 inches deep and flowing rapidly. Hundreds and hundreds of gallons were ripping past me. Luckily, I was stationed on two concrete structures which offered me a bit of altitude over the flow.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Unfortunately, litter and garbage as well as motor oil and all sorts of industrial zone street “yuck” was being carried into the Creek by the flow.

After shooting this image and the one above it, wherein my back had been turned to the flowing water, I suddenly realized that my escape route had flooded. Not wishing to have to walk through the now ankle deep torrent, a rapid series of hops/leaps and jumps carried me over and out onto drier land, allowing egress back to the top of the hill and street level. I’m just like a goat, yeah.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

By the time I reached street level, the flowing water had pretty much flooded out the pathway used to get to the coastline of Plank Road. Oddly bucolic, thought I.

Exciting, no? I thought it was.

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, October 12th. 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

October 15, 2020 at 11:00 am

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