As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
CopyrightAll images and content on this site are copyright ©GothamGirl 2009 - 2013, unless stated otherwise. If you'd like to use one of my photos, please give proper credit and link back to this blog.
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Category Archives: Photography
Walking home on this overcast day, I stopped in the gallery 25CPW. I love this little gallery at 62nd Street and Central Park West and was eager to view the exhibit, Places, by photographer Max Berger. Berger practices law and is the founding member of a legal firm here in New York City. He travels extensively with his wife and shoots the sights, from Yellowstone to Bhutan with his Nikon. But his series from Cabo were my favorite. Titled Watercolors, the six captures were mesmorizing…a spontaneous moment at a wedding reception when many jumped into the swimming pool as the night wore on…like impressionistic paintings of swimmers, water and light.
All the proceeds from the show will be donated to causes close to his heart; City Year New York and inMotion. City Year unites young volunteers for a demanding year of full-time community service, leadership development, and civic engagement in underserved schools and communities in NYC. inMotion confronts the challenging needs of families in crisis by providing free legal services to low-income and abused women in the city, who are otherwise unable to secure legal representation.
Viewing an exhibit like this and learning about the photographer gives me such inspiration. According to William Meyers (writes regularly on photography in the Wall Street Journal)…”Berger is free from editorial directives and deadlines. He has the luxury to photograph what he wants, where he wants and when he wants. If there is any criterion, it is the pleasure his work gives him and the people he chooses to share it with.” Isn’t it great to be an amateur photographer!
Bravo! One day I want to have a show and give all proceeds to Alzheimer’s. One day!
If you photograph, you’ve heard it and read it multiple times. If you want to improve your photography take your camera everywhere you go and shoot as often as possible.
While doing a little spring cleaning in my huge library of photos accumulated since moving to New York City four years ago, I now have first hand knowledge of how much truth there is in that piece of advice. My first year in the city was capture, capture, capture. Capture events, places, experiences. Keep in mind that my goal was to live only a year here, so it was a way to document and share with my friends and family that this city isn’t the scary hell hole that many may think. Becoming a “photographer” never entered my mind. Well my one year turned into two. Photography became my soul mate which made the daily connection between my camera and my eye even more meaningful. Well, the rest is history…
The review of hundreds of thousands of photographs (I’m far from finishing!) proved to me that my captures had changed over time. I’ve slowed down. My composition has improved. Some have said that I have an “eye” for photography. But I think the photographic eye is really just opening our eyes a little wider and paying attention to the details around us. It’s recognizing situations where various elements come together in a frame and becomes art. But it’s also priceless to have others provide encouragement along the way as well. (You all know who you are! Thank you!) There’s still so much to learn, but my eyes continue to be wide open. Amazing how that one little bit of spring cleaning provided me such a clear picture on how one can improve with practice. So much so that I’m ready to share some changes in the blogging world.
Moving forward Gotham Girl Chronicles will showcase just New York City. There’s so much happening here and it thrills me to share bits and pieces of this city that I uncover on a daily basis. Just like thousands of other bloggers, blogging has not only given me a creative outlet, but a place to capture my personal thoughts as well. Four years from now I want to look back and see how far I’ve traveled on this new creative journey. My new blog (coming soon!) will showcase my experiences in learning more about photography, dipping my toe in collage and mixed media…projects…a personal journal of sorts. Who knows where it will all lead? Just imagine!
P.S. I took this photo in a little boutique here in the city back in September 2011…not knowing how much meaning it would have today.
P.S.S. It means so much to me to share my images and words and then to hear your thoughts. Thank you to all my faithful followers for all the support and even if you drop in only once to look around…thank you too! xo
Looking for the perfect afternoon of good food and art?
Start in the neighborhood of NoHo in Manhattan. Short for North of Houston Street, NoHo is a neighborhood wedged between Greenwich Village and the East Village. Take the afternoon and visit the Leica Gallery and then head over to Five Points. You can thank me later.
Start with a visit to the Leica Gallery. An absolute must for photography lovers and free! The gallery itself is not your typical shiny-big space gallery. Think old world. Think small and intimate on the fifth floor of a historic building that was originally the 4th Brooks Brothers store constructed in 1874. I was excited to learn about Maggie Steber’s upcoming exhibition later this month. If you aren’t familiar with her work, she’s a documentary photographer known for her humanistic stories of people and cultures in crisis. I’ve been following her for a while now as she documented her relationship with her mother who had Alzheimer’s. Her exhibit, Rite of Passage, will run from April 19th thru June 1st. Her images will take your breath as they speak to the pain and loss and the fragility of life.
All that looking and absorbing can definitely make one hungry so head on over to Five Points just a couple blocks away on Jones Street. Eating in NYC is expensive so when I shell out bucks for a dining experience…it needs to be top quality. I’m not a major foodie, just a love for a simple menu focused on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Found! Chefs Meyer and Freeman have it going on at Five Points. A must? Potato pizza with sliced yukon gold potatoes, fontina cheese and truffle oil. The grilled amish chicken salad with local greens, toasted pistachios and dried cherries…oh my.
Like I said…you can thank me later. Happy Weekend!
P.S. Changes are on the way…I’ll tell you all about it in my next post!
There’s a new moon today…time to get clear on our priorities and set some new goals. According to some of my moon readings…what you put into motion at this time will have great momentum for manifesting. Think and dream big!
So I am.
And of course the trees are bursting with new buds and the flowers are just beginning to pop. And the birds are chirping and the red robins are everywhere here in the city. And according to my Animal Speak book…the robin…the promise of new beginnings…the robin reflects the need to sing your own song forth if you wish new growth.
So I am.
It’s been four years (four years!!) since my move to New York City. In certain ways it seems like yesterday and in many ways I feel as if this has been my home for a life time. In these four years I’ve evolved. I’ve grown into a deeper, more thoughtful version with even a greater love of enjoying the routine of everyday life. Photography has given me the ability to slow down, see more, and feel more. It’s hard to explain, but I just know when my camera connects to my eye, when the shot is composed, and the button is pressed, I’m in utopia. I want to be that little robin…to learn more songs, to take more pictures and to learn to create. I want to unfurl my wings and be open to the wind. I want to see what more is possible. To stretch outside my comfort zone. To grow my soul as Kurt Vonnegut so eloquently puts it…in his quote…
To practice any art…
no matter how well or how badly…is a way to make your soul grow.
So do it.
So I am.
But this is also scary. Me, thinking I could possibly become an artist? It’s hard to even type these words, much less say them. What will people think? What if I don’t like it? What if my creations looks like shit? But it was reading a paragraph in a recent Oprah magazine that helped me with these many questions.
Your need to please falls away and what is left is the blessed realization that you really don’t have anything to prove to anyone. At a certain point, you buy the shoes and purse that feel right, instead of the ones that will impress people. You opt for muted tones that flow from one room to the next, you choose the sofa that makes you want to curl up with a good book on a Sunday afternoon, and create a space that makes your friends stop remarking on your artwork, but on the conversation. You let go of the cold stone floors that felt wrong from the start, and at long last you come home to floors make of old oak, floor that feel warm beneath your feet and bring peace and joy with every step forward you take.
So I am.
to be continued…
OK, so what’s AIPAD? How about The Association of International Photography Art Dealers. The Park Avenue Armory hosted the show, now in its 33rd year. AIPAD is one of the longest running exhibitions of its kind in the world where 80 leading photography galleries showcase contemporary, modern and nineteenth-century photographs.
Always interesting to see up close and personal the work from some of the greatest photographers of all time as well as framing and project ideas.
Work from two photographers that really spoke to me…
Alexey Titarenko – his black & white long-exposures of moving masses of people are filled with moodiness and are ghost-like. (Check out his portfolio of City of Shadows.) And Lauren Semivan – her black & white staged work (specifically Observatory) is unique and dreamlike. Both…amazing artists!
But for the life of me, it was hard to believe some of the prices on these photographs. What makes them so expensive? I can understand if it’s a Henri Cartier-Bresson, but $10,000 for a 16×20 capture of water reflections?
So I decided on the way home to stop at one of the lakes in Central Park and take one similar to what was shown at the show.
I’ve decided to sell this one for half the price of that 16×20. A real bargain!
Going once…going twice? <smile>
Was it the veins in her arms that attracted me to her? Or perhaps it was her long wet fingers, shiny from the afternoon sun, as she washed her clothes that caught my eye? Or was it the wrinkles in her face and the look of determination in the shape of her mouth? Perhaps it was just the scene itself of her hand washing her clothes in the red concrete tubs of the public laundry area where spring-fed water troughs lure many on the weekends…ahhhhhhh…the power of photography and the ability to capture those moments that catch our eye…
While in San Miguel de Allende for the past two weeks and roaming the many art galleries, the work of Deborah Turbeville at Casa Diana bed and breakast and gallery also caught my eye. But first, before telling you about Turbeville, let me share a bit about Casa Diana. This place was built by the artist Pedro Friedeberg, whose work can be found throughout the house. There’s a room with a lion face mantle around the fireplace and one with a three horse stucco as seen below…which is understandable why Casa Diana has been featured in the magazine, Architectural Digest. Friedeberg’s hand chairs are very well known in the art and decorating world as well. Imagine spending the weekend here…
But back to Deborah Turbeville…familiar with her work? The artist and lovely owner of Casa Diana, Carmen Gutierrez, pulled out many of Turbeville’s books from her library to show me her work. (Guess who has now updated her wish list on Amazon?)
Turbeville is an internationally acclaimed photographer who is credited with changing the face of fashion photography. She divides her time between San Miguel de Allende, St. Petersburg and New York and has worked for some of the big name magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Mademoiselle prior to becoming a photographer. “Taking photographs for more than 30 years, her aesthetic has never changed. She foregoes clarity and colour to maintain a stony palette which is only occasionally alleviated by shots of gold. Light is used to further the effect: bleaching out an alabaster face, illuminating a hollowed cheekbone, throwing shadows into deeper relief. Her methods of post-production – negatives are scratched, taped and smeared – serve to continue the pictures’ disconnection from reality. Order is there, but it is unnatural – there is always an oddness, a discordant note that necessitates a second look.” (Tish Wrigley) The soft-focus, high grain and avaunt-garde style certainly makes her one of my favorite photographers.
And speaking of favorite photographers…have you heard about the upcoming documentary, Finding Vivian Maier, which tells the incredible story behind the mystery of her hidden life? Oh I can’t wait! The official trailer can be seen here.
Do you have a favorite photographer? Please share!
Cross-posted today over at Vision and Verb where a collaborative group of like-minded women from all over the world share their passion for photography and the written word.
Delicate and intricately detailed…
A few years ago…if someone would have told me, as I walked thru a local Hispanic supermarket, those thoughts above would’ve come to mind as I glanced at tripe…well, I’d have to say they were a touch crazy.
But that is exactly what photography has given me, the possibilities of perception that are limitless.
For those of you who don’t know, tripe is a french word for a type of edible parts from the stomachs of various farm animals. Prior to my involvement with photography, a capture like this would’ve never occurred to me. In fact, what would’ve happened would be an eeewwwwwwww and to look away as quickly as possible.
But it has been the Miksang practice or the contemplative practice that has brought me such awareness. It has given me fresh eyes to the ordinary. But it isn’t just limited to photography. As Andy Karr and Michael Wood so eloquently write in their book, The Practice of Contemplative Photography, “with or without camera, the joy of seeing can be one of life’s treasures. When a perception dawns and you don’t have a camera, or conditions are not right to make a picture, you don’t need to feel frustration or regret. That’s the time to realize how precious seeing itself is.” Well said guys. Well said.
On a side note…if you ever find yourself in Phoenix, Arizona a trip to Pro’s Ranch Market on Roosevelt Street is a must. You’ll be immediately transported to the colorful country of Mexico. And speaking of Mexico…Sunday I’ll be off to spend a little time with friends in Mexico City before I head to San Miguel de Allende to wander and photograph while visiting one of my best friends! So excited!
Cross posted today over at Vision and Verb where women from all over the world share their visions through their art and verb through their written word. Come join us!
If you’re not into photography you may have never heard of Paul Strand, but this man helped establish photography as a legitimate art form in the 20th century. That’s pretty impressive. And so much so that I was eager to watch John Walker’s documentary: Strand, Under the Dark Cloth. Passionately devoted to humanity, back in 1917 Strand said, “if one were to use photography honestly, he must have a real respect for the thing in front of him.” Oh, how true.
When I first viewed his work it was his soft focus or his “fuzzy Romanticism” that caught my attention. But it was watching this documentary that I enjoyed seeing the transition in his work over the years. Walker provided plenty of Strand’s most famous photographs, film clips and incredible interviews with friends and collaborators.
As photographers we can all learn from the masters…and the importance of having that “respect for the thing in front of us” and capturing the unusual from the usual.
Bella’s 52 Photos Project this weeks calls for a black and white conversion!
There were a couple of Miksang moments during my day today…and I so want to share them with you.
Both captured at the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Remember the Polaroid? Back in August I visited the Impossible Project in Soho and wrote about it here. My wish? To one day own a piece of magic, the Polaroid SX-70. Whenever the word Polaroid is mentioned, the click and whirr immediately comes to mind. Then the nostalgia sets in and I’m reminded of the dreaminess of the capture, the lighting, the magic that happens in the palm of your hand.
However, purchasing one wasn’t at the top of my radar. There’s numerous projects, new equipment, daily shooting and the constant learning of new software that keeps me beyond busy these days. But, in all honesty…owning a Polaroid was always in the back of my mind. And besides…my little Fuji instax mini needed some company!
While reviewing some photos for a family project that I’m working on, I came across some Polaroid shots that I’d captured in the early 80′s. Hmm…I knew I’d taken them, but what happened to that camera? Well lo and behold guess what? Exactly 32 years later I now have my Polaroid OneStep Land Camera back in my hands. A birthday gift from my ex. You see he had kept it all those years and I’d forgotten all about it. Perfect condition with the user manual and the information I’d recorded exactly 32 years ago when it was purchased.
Ahhh…the thrill of the first photo…the magic of instant photography…the magic of life!