Winter Arrives in Manhattan

Days are shortening and skies are hardening and winter is coming.

Winter Arrives in Manhattan

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To Sacré-Cœur

Sacré-Cœur sits high on a hill above Paris, and from the top of Tour Montparnasse (Sacré-Cœur architectural polar opposite), the view shows off so many of the city’s famous structures simultaneously: the Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre, the Palais Garnier.

To Sacré-Cœur

Uptown

On this bright Sunday morning, I finally photographed the mighty Manhattan skyline from high above its (mostly) rectilinear grid. This is my favorite kind of photograph: The expanse of cloud-dappled space stretches all the way to tree-covered hills at the horizon and the cityscape seems to offer infinite detail down at the level of individual windows.

Uptown

Fire Trails Apart

As busy as the cities of the Bay Area become, there are the spaces in the fire trails (like the one in the foreground) to get some quiet and distance. There’s an odd orthogonality of the senses in being able to see all of the commotion below with none of the accompanying sound.

Fire Trails Apart

Six (Christmas?) Trees Above Berkeley

Two of my past St. Lawrence University students are working on their Ph.D.s at Berkeley and I discovered yesterday that one was giving her Graduate Research Conference (Berkeley’s version of a thesis defense, but earlier) while the other was in the audience. I’m very proud of both of them.
Understandably, this had me thinking about my experiences at Berkeley. In this picture from Grizzly Peak, the perspective folds together Oakland, San Francisco, and Berkeley. In the foreground, look at those gnarled trees—they’re weird but they’ve grown tall. I’ll take that visual metaphor for the grad school experience. I took this picture on Christmas Day in 2016, so I guess that makes these Christmas trees, too.

Six (Christmas?) Trees Above Berkeley

Detail Gradient with Lights

My favorite part of a huge cityscape view is the way the tiny details of buildings (windows, lights, roofs) slowly become less and less distinct as you look farther away. I was inspired to get a “real” camera all those years ago in part from a desire to takes pictures that gave the viewer a feeling of being able to “zoom forever” and always see more detail.

Detail Gradient with Lights

Wick’s New York

I caught John Wick Chapter 3 in theaters this weekend; that movie’s take on New York City inspired me to finish processing my RAWs from my October 2018 trip to photograph its downtown skyline. Perhaps that sense of a hidden world lurking around every corner is captured in the details along the shore.

Wick's New York