Light and Land in New York City - Linda Wride
15th March 2018
Light and Land in New York City
My visit to New York City in late October (my third trip with Light and Land) was one of the highlights of 2017. As someone who is more comfortable in the urban environment, I felt like the proverbial child in a “photographic” sweetshop. I enjoyed the buildings, with wonderful shapes, forms, and patterns of shadows and reflections to inspire architectural abstracts. I loved capturing life on the streets, in parks and along the riversides in a city that feels very familiar from the movies and TV, but is also new and exciting for the first-time visitor like me. It was exhilarating to walk the High Line, ride the subway, be transported by a big yellow taxi and travel by ferry like the locals, who were friendly and courteous.
It’s difficult to single out highlights from the many photographic opportunities. However, entering the huge light filled atrium of the Oculus transport hub (designed by Santiago Calatrava, one of my favourite architects) after the dark confined space of the subway was breath-taking. Looking up at the Empire State Building from street level by day, then viewing it again from the Top of The Rock as twilight fell and the lights of NYC began to sparkle made memorable contrasts. Photographing long views of the Manhattan skyline across the East River from Brooklyn (after walking the iconic bridge) and from Hoboken across the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan as dusk fell set our hearts racing as we tried to capture the ever-changing light.
To keep us on our photographic toes, we were set little challenges along the way - I enjoyed trying to distil the experience of riding the Staten Island Ferry into one single image, and attempting to make a series to tell the story of life in Central Park….Even torrential rain on Broadway was a brief, if rather damp, photo opportunity as the bright lights glistened on wet umbrellas and were reflected in car bonnets and windscreens at Times Square.
Our leader, Paul Sanders had developed a varied and rich itinerary with some new locations, quickly adapting to weather conditions as and when necessary. His tireless energy, enthusiasm and sense of humour always impresses. Our group was fortunate to be joined by Charlie Waite himself for part of the time. Thanks to Charlie, I learned how to use the multiple exposure feature on my camera – something I hadn’t experimented with before. Both Paul and Charlie were there when you needed them, but let you do your own thing when you wanted to. The group which started out as strangers quickly gelled well, and it was fascinating to see how others approached photographing the city by day and to enjoy good company as we relaxed, tired but happy, in the evenings. What more could you ask for (other than more dollars to the pound, please!).