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Photography, Architecture, Parks, Design, Dogs, Astronomy in NYC?

Photography, Architecture, Parks, Design, Dogs, Astronomy in NYC?

Old Mar 14th, 2004, 06:33 PM
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Photography, Architecture, Parks, Design, Dogs, Astronomy in NYC?

Just found out that husband and I both need to be in NYC on his birthday on April 7. Since we're there for work (separately) so hubby's probably not expecting anything other than a nice dinner somewhere, but can you help me plan something more special?

Some background:
We've both been to NYC dozens of times, but often mostly work and have dinners during downtime. The past when we were there together we liked to go to museums and Central Park, and not big on very touristy things. Hubby loves the outdoors, dogs, art, astronomy, architecture and design. He's a passionate beginner photographer and just got his dream serious camera for Christmas.

I'm grateful for any ideas. Thank you thank you thank you!!! Daphne
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 06:40 PM
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Not sure exactly what you're looking for. Day or night? Amount of time? You say you don't like the outdoors. Does that me you want indoor photography subjects? Etc., etc., etc.
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Old Mar 14th, 2004, 06:46 PM
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Ooops, yes forgot to mention the activities can be for anytime from late afternoon to say midnight. To clarify, we both love the outdoors. Thanks!
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Old Mar 15th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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Your mention of dogs made me remember fondly back to the time we wandered through Washington Square Park in the village. There's a small dog park there, and for us it was great fun to just sit for 1/2 hour and watch all the pups playing together.

If you have not walked the Brooklyn Bridge, I'd suggest that as another fun activity, and a great opportunity for taking photos both of the bridge and of the city (from the bridge).
 
Old Mar 15th, 2004, 06:56 PM
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Jenifer, thanks for your ideas! Both sound great.

Anyone else?? Come on, there's got to be more fans of dogs, photography and astronomy out there in NYC?

By the way, where do NewYorkers go (how far out from the city) to star gaze?
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 04:27 AM
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If he really loves astronomy, then you should take him to the two planetarium shows at the American Museum of Natural History.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 04:37 AM
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The John Waters photo show at the New Museum - 583 Broadway (between Houston and Prince Streets) - runs until May 2. Have not been yet, but was sold on seeing it after it was featured on Terry Gross's NPR show "Fresh Air".

http://www.newmuseum.org/now_current.php
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 04:39 AM
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You may be the first ever to ask about star gazing in NYC, I imagine you need to be at LEAST an hour outside the city.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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As far as photography goes, my favorite daytime subjects are Brooklyn Bridge (and Brooklyn Heights views of Manhattan), Midtown architecture (particularly Times Square to St. Patricks, along with Empire St. and Chrysler), the Wall Street area, and Central Park. Chinatown is also interesting for people shots. For evening or night, Times Square is great because of all the lights; other subjects could include the Brooklyn Bridge sights mentioned above, the exterior of the Rose Planetarium at twilight (part of the Museum of Natural History), and Lincoln Center. For more people shots, squares are particularly interesting, such as Union Square. For indoor photography, Grand Central Station and the Metropolitan Museum of Art would be way up on my list. Midtown and the Brooklyn Bridge may offer the greatest variety of subjects - architecture, cityscapes, and people - plus, its just fun to walk across.

If you want to inspire him for the photography part of the trip, order a copy of New York New York Mini, a photo book by Richard Berenholtz. It is less than $11 at Amazon. I also have lots of recent NYC photos on my Web site at www.oneeyed.homestead.com, although not the quality of Berenholtz.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 08:26 AM
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Thank you thank you. I had not been able to post here for days. I know my response was a little general. Do you have more specific photography questions?
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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There's another dog run at Tompkins Sq. Park and I think that neighborhood is very interesting.

I'm also a photograper and the great thing about NYC is you can just pick a street corner and hang out for a while and something interesting will develop or just walk a neighborhood. Anyone can go shoot the Bklyn Bridge and you'll have some pictures that look like everyone else's.

While I'm not one for hanging out in Midtown, I actually like to photograph people there. The sidewalks are deep so you're not always at super wide angle and there's room to sort of hide out and snipe. While you won't get the trendy crowd that you do in the E. Village you get business folks, tourists, street performers, firemen/cops/traffic patrol, construction workers, etc. There's also some interesting sculptures on streets like 6th AV., Madison, corporate type places.

If you like shooting interesting storefronts, belgian block streets, dog walkers, etc., the E. Village never disappoints.

As for star gazing, fuhgeddabowdit, as they say in NYC. Unless you live in Co. Cal., there has to be a clearer sky closer to your own home than NYC. The Rose Center at the Museum of Nat History (as previously mentioned) has a technically superb planetarium type show but if you're really into astronomy you'd probably find it kinda cheesy. It's not cheap and it's only 20 minutes and just because Tom Hanks plays an astronaut on TV that doesn't make him any more qualified to narrate this show.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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We live in NYC on the uppest west side, and we have stars? Really? I knew about the moon, but that's about it here.

I would suggest taking him out on the Hudson for a dinner cruise, with the lights shinning from the city, he would get some great shots.

I also think the Planetarium would be as close to the stars as you can get here. The only time I have seen lots of stars was the blackout last summer. We took a ride to NJ and saw a sky full of stars as we drove over the Hudson River.

Another idea might be seeing the Cloisters museum and then having dinner at the restaurant in Ft. Tryon Park, not sure of the new name of the restaurant it used to be the Unicorn, but it has been rennovated and is a nice restaurant now.

Have a fun time while you are here.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 09:22 AM
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Maybe you should consider a walking tour of an area of the city you haven't explored much. Big Onion offers walking tours of various neighborhoods. You'll combine outdoors and photography opportunities, plus understand the history of a specific neighborhood which will likely include information about the area's architecture. I don't know how long you'll be in town, but you might try checking Time Out magazine when you arrive to see what else might be going on during your stay.
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 10:04 AM
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I have to respectfully disagree about shooting the Brooklyn Bridge or any other major tourist site and ending up with the same photos as everyone else. That said, yes, the bridge is going to offer a more limited amount of freedom to experiment than many other areas. The challenge for a travel photographer is to show an icon in a different way. Use the weather, interesting light, people, dogs, odd angles, etc. to shed a new light on something familiar. Most of NY has been captured on film thousands of times by very skilled photographers. It is generally going to be much easier for a local or frequent visiting photographer (as your husband seems to be) to find a lot of "different shots" because there is more time to just wander around, hang out on the corner, and explore small areas in depth and with a variety of weather and lighting conditions. I would think of photography as an extension of your husband's other interests. For example, I love history, so I often photograph historic sites, reenactments, etc. I suggested the planetarium based on your husband's interest in astronomy, and midtown and downtown offer a wealth of architectural subjects. Of course, many of the more interesting architectural shots may be found by walking through less touristy areas, unless your husband has an affinity for skyscrapers and cityscapes. He might also want to photograph dogs based on that interest (Central Park is a great spot, as you probably already know), or he may enjoy photographing people looking at art in some of the museums. Photographing tourists is an interesting possibility that few visitors think about (outside of their own family shots).
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 10:09 AM
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How about this idea? Since you two are frequent visitors to NYC, your husband should consider starting a photography project. He could walk around and photograph a different neighborhood on each trip or develop a theme such as dogs or art or particular types of architecture. Or maybe he could pick a favorite part of the city and return to it each time he is in town. It is a general principle that the more you return to a location, the better your photos of that location are likely to become. Then use the rest of the time for just relaxing, going out to eat, or sightseeing.

What kind of lenses does your husband have now?
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Old Mar 16th, 2004, 07:06 PM
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What great ideas, thanks everyone. I started laughing out loud at myself reading these posts about the star gazing or the lack there of.

Seems like there are some photography enthusiasts here. Can anyone suggest a good camera shop in the city? I want to take him shopping for a filter kit for his birthday gift. Thx. Daphne
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Old Mar 17th, 2004, 04:10 AM
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B&H Photo at 9th Avenue and 34th Street is definitely the place to go to.
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Old Mar 17th, 2004, 05:49 AM
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Ditto on what Howard said. B&H is awesome but be forewarned, they are closed on Saturdays as are most of the good photo places because of Orthodox sabbath practices, though if you're only there on the 7th, not a problem. Adorama is good also and has a used photo supply outlet around the corner, quality stuff.
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Old Mar 17th, 2004, 08:12 AM
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I haven't been to Adorama but hear it is quite a bit smaller and easier than shopping at B&H. I have used Adorama by mail. If you want your husband to jump for joy, however, do as others said and take him to B&H. Not only are their prices great - about the same as Adorama - (I buy almost everything from B&H), the store is huge and is bound to make any beginning or even advanced photographer fantasize. If you only get out with a filter kit it will be a miracle.
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Old Mar 17th, 2004, 08:45 AM
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Another vite for B&H.

The International Center For Photography is worth a visit.

NY streets are dark and in shadows a lot, because of the tall buildings. OVercast days make for better photos in these canyons.

In color, on a sunny day, a lower contast film like Kodak Portra NC or VC 400 are excellent suggestions because they cope with shadows well. On grey days, normal Kodak 200 or 400 film, or Fuji Superia are better because of higher saturation.
The Circle Line boat tour around manhatten is a great photo adventure, oif he has a decent telephoto lens. 135mm is pretty good; a 180-200 lens is even better. quicker, shorter, cheapper is shooting the stature of liberty from the Staten Island ferry.

The aircraft carrier in the Hudson is a great photo spot, if you liek this kind of stuff.

IF the camera is light enought to sit steadily on a small tripod, put it on a tripod at night, set it on program and matrix metering (or something similar, depending on the brand) and keep shooting. You can buy the tripod earlier in the day at B&H.

For a project, he might shoot individual letters frpom signs, posters, building fronts, etc., and then make prints and put them in a frame so that the letters spell out his name,your name, a favorite kid's name, etc.

BAK
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