The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘NYC ferry

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

So, the NYC Ferry has started a new service, one that starts on… Staten Island… and then proceeds up the Hudson River to midtown. Now… why on earth would you introduce a paid service that’s meant to compete with the free one?

Answer is that the free one goes to lower Manhattan, leaving you nearby the Battery and Wall Street, whereas the new paid service takes you to the high west 30’s along the west side of the City.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The new boat route really allows the ferry captains to open up the throttle, I would mention, and the boat is bouncing along on the waves. It leaves from St. George, makes a stop nearby Battery Park City at Vesey Street, then heads all the way up to west 39th street.

Talking to people from Staten Island riding the thing revealed that they didn’t mind paying for it, given that using the Staten Island Ferry to get to Manhattan would see them paying a subway fare. This way, they get to be on the water the whole way.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The burning thermonuclear eye of god itself was dipping down behind New Jersey as I was riding the ferry, and there’s a Coast Guard rule that demands that anyone with a camera has to take a picture of the Statue of Liberty under such circumstance, so…

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I had a meeting which I was meant to call in to just as the moon began to manifest. Something Newtown Creek related, which is probably quite a surprise, huh?

I am very, very tired of going to meetings.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I’ve always found the Hudson River pretty boring, truth be told. You’ve got three or four nice shots along the way, but two of them have been absolutely ruined by catastrophic architectural decisions.

I don’t actually mind those two cantilevered buildings, as a note.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As soon as I hit land, I called into my meeting, which I attended via my headphones while still shooting.

Back next week with more wonders, at this – your 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

May 13, 2022 at 11:00 am

sorry planet

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Friday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As described is prior posts, an NYC Ferry ride from Astoria to Manhattan’s 34th street allowed a humble narrator to intersect with a Bronx bound Soundview line ferry. Arriving at a new ferry stop, one navigated his way over to the Bronx Whitestone Bridge and a couple of hours worth of urban landscape photography ensued.

This portion of my day involved using a tripod, an ND filter to slow down and control the very bright afternoon sun, a cable release to negate having to touch the camera’s controls too much, and a Canon model R6 camera.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

While shooting these, a bit of a squall was building to the south west and the wind began to kick up. Before long, a solid wall of 15 – 20 mph wind had become continuous. A simple solution for this one is to use your body to block the wind, standing between the oncoming current and the camera rig. This only works so far, by the way, so it’s best to shoot a couple/three exposures for every composition.

This practice burns through the batteries pretty quick, but I’ve always got at least two fully charged extra ones in my camera bag.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

You’re already there, so don’t rush. Look up, down, all around. Don’t just show up after traveling somewhere, click the shutter and say “I got it, that’s a day.” Keep looking. You’re there, and there’s plenty of time back at home later to not regret having captured more.

Try different exposure combinations. Do a focus stack. Maybe do a few HDR exposures. Narrow aperture versus wide open one. Keep working, don’t stop until it’s absolutely time to leave.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Go for textural shots. Storytelling involves “establishment shots” which are wide, close ups, mediums. Don’t stop shooting until you have to. Think about how movie directors do it. Try dutching the angle of the camera, put the thing on the ground and see what that looks like, is there anything you can safely climb on to get some perspective.

Shoot from your waist, from above your head. Up, down, all around.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What happens if you underexpose, or overexpose? Can you combine the two as a blended stack in photoshop? Take a minute and burn what the scene looked like visually into your memory. When you develop the RAW files later, that visual memory will come in handy.

Yes, the water actually did turn indigo blue in the late afternoon winter sunlight, as a passing high altitude cloud shadowed it.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

“One and done” is the statement of an egomaniac or an autist. Keep working. It’s digital photography, not film. Everything you shoot will be malleable when you’re back in front of the computer and processing the shots. Stretch the shutter speed out, or reduce it to a thousandth of a second. Maybe you can combine the two shots? Me? I like making waves look like smokey mist these days. You?

That’s my advice. What do I know, after all, as I’m just some schmuck with a camera, scuttling about. Filthy black raincoat blowing about in the wind, friendless and alone, walking down the waterfront.


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle


Buy a book!


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“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 8, 2022 at 11:00 am

slight blurring

with 2 comments

Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A humble narrator didn’t have anything scheduled for the 23rd of February, and since one of my favorite things to do solo revolves around riding the NYC Ferry to some distant point, that’s what I did.

I boarded the Astoria line boat, headed over to Manhattan’s 34th street ferry dock hub, and transferred onto the Soundview line. Soundview heads over to the East River coastline of the Bronx, and the service had recently opened a new stop there – Ferry Point Park.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

After a stop at Manhattan’s East 90th street, NYC Ferry navigates through the Hells Gate section which adjoins Astoria Park. You get some pretty great views along the way. Saying that, they really open up the engines when heading north, so hold on to something. One hand for you, one for the boat.

The “normal” service on the East River is pretty smooth, and conducted at relatively low speeds. On the Rockaway, St. George, and Soundview routes, however, the boat is moving very fast and that means it’s bouncing around and smashing into waves.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A tug and fuel barge combo was navigating south west as we left 90th street. Believe it or not, there are “lanes” in the water which ship captains have to follow. Navigational depth, underwater obstructions and hazards, wake sensitive shorelines and construction areas, even environmental factors go into the designation of these “lanes” by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Coast Guard. Also, boat people call these lanes “channels,” ok?

When leaving HQ, I had geared up fully and was carrying my entire traveling kit with me. since I wasn’t going to be trekking miles and miles on foot, I figured “why not”?

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The fuel barge was empty. You can tell that by how high it’s sitting in the water, and there’s a line of corrosion midway up on its outer hull that gives an idea of where it sits relative to the waterline when full.

That fuel barge carries the equivalent cargo of 38 heavy trucks, incidentally. We are about 10-20 years from seeing self driving barges, ones that are electrical motor driven, navigating the nation’s waterways. In NY Harbor, you’ll nevertheless likely see a tug accompanying the things for a decade or two after the new technology appears and gets deployed into the wild. That will have more to do with safety and homeland security than operational concern.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Moving up through Hells Gate, you first pass under Mighty Triborough’s East River Suspension Bridge. Triborough is a complex of bridges and highway on and off ramps, and one of the most complicated bits of engineering ever accomplished.

The East River span connects the Grand Central Parkway and Astoria/LIC’s local traffic to the bridge complex centered at Randall’s/Ward’s Island.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Next up is the Hell Gate Bridge, which carries railroad traffic off of Long Island and into the Bronx. From the Bronx, rail heads north and then west onto the continent from the archipelago of New York City. If you want to see what it looks like from up there, check out this post from last fall describing an Amtrak trip to Vermont’s Burlington.

More tomorrow.


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle


Buy a book!


The Newtown Creekathon returns!

On April 10th, the all day death march around Newtown Creek awakens from its pandemic slumber.

DOOM! DOOM! Fully narrated by Mitch Waxman and Will Elkins of Newtown Creek Alliance, this one starts in LIC at the East River, heads through Blissville, the happy place of Industrial Maspeth, dips a toe in Ridgewood and then plunges desperately into Brooklyn. East Williamsburgh and then Greenpoint are visited and a desperate trek to the East River in Brooklyn commences. DOOM! Click here for more information and to reserve a spot – but seriously – what’s wrong with you that you’re actually considering doing this? DOOM!


“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 6, 2022 at 11:00 am

feeble pages

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Wednesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

As mentioned, one needed to get a picture of a NYC Ferry entering the Brooklyn Navy Yard for a freelance gig, and what was described to me as being the ideal image is only possible at sunrise or shortly thereafter. That’s why I boarded a NYC Ferry while it was still dark and headed over to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, from Astoria.

After accomplishing my goal, and let me tell you – meteorology was not on my side for at least nine full days before this particular morning – one decided that “what the hell, might as well walk home.” On my way out of the Navy Yard, I was very much in “lookitthat” mode and couldn’t help but crack out a few shots.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Everybody I know has a story about getting hassled while waving the camera around at the Navy Yard, but nobody ever bugs me here. I walk with a purpose, and project an aura of rectitude… that’s what I tell myself… but the security people probably just think I’m just some homeless guy who found a camera and is wandering around with it.

My plan for the walk back to Queens was simple. I’d hang a left when leaving the Navy Yard, then a right and another left. That would put me under the BQE, which runs on an elevated truss in this section of Brooklyn, and I’d follow it back through Williamsburg and Greenpoint where I’d cross Newtown Creek on the Kosciuszcko Bridge and enter Queens. A mere stroll, I tell’s ya, a wee walk.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

This isn’t the shot I came to Wallabout Bay for, above, but it gives you an idea of the sort of light my assignment required. The pinks and oranges on the white hulls of the ferry boats were the stage lights I needed to get what I was asked to photograph. There’s a ferry conference next year, and the shot I came for is meant to be the program booklet cover – so no pressure there.

Tomorrow, we make a left, a right, another left, and then head north.


“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 29, 2021 at 11:00 am

harmlessly mad

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Tuesday

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A client of mine recently asked for a very specific shot, one that would require me to leave HQ in the dead of night and catch the first ferry out of Astoria just as the burning thermonuclear eye of god itself began to peek out from behind Nassau and Suffolk counties. Coffee was quaffed, a humble narrator was bathed and soon clad in his black sackcloth, and the camera gear was vouchsafed as ready to deploy. A man up early and on a mission, I was there as that first ferry boat arrived at Hallets Cove, and thusly was it boarded with a jaunty step.

The assignment involved the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the NYC Ferry, specifically to get a shot of the latter entering the former at sunrise. The sunrise deal wasn’t part of the original brief/conversation, but from the description of what they wanted, that’s what they wanted.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

What? I’m going to get up at 4:30 in the morning for a job and not get a few in for myself, too? Sheesh, who ya talking to here? Yeah, it was chilly up there on the top deck. Kee-reist, why not just stay at home in your warm bed and whine about the winter? If Marcus Aurelius was here, he’d “tsk tsk” at you. Lazy bones. Sleep when you’re dead.

That’s the Roosevelt Island Bridge at the center of the shot, with the Queensboro in the distance.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The Astoria line NYC Ferry makes a few stops after leaving its former terminal stop nearby the NYCHA Astoria Houses campus at Queens’ Hallets Cove. Former terminal stop, actually, since there’s now a stop on the extremely Upper East Side in Manhattan that supersedes. After the Hallets Cove stop, where I usually board the service, the Ferry goes to Roosevelt Island, LIC North, 34th st. in the City, then Brooklyn Navy Yard, and finally Manhattan’s Pier 11. The ferry ride is a little bit more than a half hour, going from Astoria to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

I’d offer that this is the one thing that the NYC EDC has done right in the last ten years, the ferry. I won’t give credit to De Blasio, as I personally witnessed the plans for it circulating near the end of third Bloomberg. Word has it that the Dope from Park Slope asked for something “ready to go” when he came into office and they handed him the plan which ended up being called “NYC Ferry.”

More tomorrow, from an early morning on the East River.


“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 28, 2021 at 1:00 pm

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