Ice Cream Cones (New York, NY)

a boy and a man eating ice cream cones while sitting at base of large statue
Having an ice cream cone together at the William Tecumseh Sherman statue at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan, New York, New York.

Apparently they have restored the old Sherman statue at Grand Army Plaza (just south of Central Park). This photo from a while back proves you don’t need a pristine statue to enjoy ice cream.


Accordion Player (Northampton, MA)

man playing accordion with drummer and guitarist in the background
An accordion player on New Year’s Eve from several years ago. Northampton, Massachusetts. (Black and white)

Rocking out! I can remember the hearing loss as if it was only four, five, six years ago. More seriously, I was pretty close to the stage which was good considering the lens I had. (Pretty sure it was the 35mm f/1.8.) Wanted to get some shots of the guitarist, but he didn’t stand in the light very much or at opportune times, which wasn’t helping a no-flash photo cause. And then people got in front of me (see below). As for the music, I can’t tell you a thing about it, except that the audience seemed to enjoy it, and a happy audience is usually a good (or drunk?) thing. And speaking of happiness, a belated Happy New Year, to anyone I missed at the time.

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Rainshine (Kennett Square, PA)

A woman and child walk past the second railing
A curious glance from outside in the rain. At Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. (Black and white)

I didn’t get as many (or many at all) passersby — it was raining after all — but it seemed like an interesting shot to repeat. Photographing people in public isn’t my forte, but the more one practices…well, let’s say I know someone who could use a lot more practice. (More below.)

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Ships Passing on a Sidewalk (Boston, MA)

A man in a suit withsunglasses approaches a solicitor on the sidewalk
A street canvasser and a pedestrian cross paths in Boston, Massachusetts.

This is where the intrigue and reality of street photography meet. I was trying to stealthily shoot this photo, but ended up cutting off part of the man’s head and then a little more off the top because the image needed to be straightened. Despite that shortcoming, the man’s expression really makes the shot: is he uncomfortable? Is he knowing because he’s already settled things with the other activist working up the sidewalk? Is he bemused or preparing to be condescending? I become certain that it’s this or that motivating him until a half-minute later, when I admit I can’t tell. There’s something there, but I”ll be a caterpillar’s uncle if I knew.

Conditioned (Goshen, MA)

duck on the sand just out of lake head turned to water
A female mallard at water’s edge. DAR State Forest, Goshen Park.

Ducks are probably the pigeons of squirrels of birds (does that make sense? maybe not), in that they seem to be conditioned to the presence of people in many places. Probably some feeding of the wildlife going on in this case that has created a lack of “appropriate fear,” as a basketball coach once put it. It’s a duck’s life I suppose. In any event the mallards on this pond were not impressed with my presence. I could get pretty close before they’d react. (Another shot below plus B&W’s.)

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High Pair (Pine Knoll Shores, NC)

two pelicans with wings outstretched in a completely clear sky
Two pelicans soar through the clear sky above the ocean. Near Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina. (Black and white version)

On one hand, it is a sad state of affairs where almost any sighting of wildlife is a wondrous and/or notable moment, but I think people are also fascinated and inherently enriched by other animals. Who is so jaded as not to be amused or delighted or stumped by something as common as say, a robin, or a squirrel. They are old news, but their antics are never out of style. In a similar way, probably in part because of the subject which is rare for me personally, I am a little more infatuated with photos like this one. I don’t know if there’s much to credit here in an artistic sense, but I like the reminder that these large birds were flying effortlessly over my head, not a cloud or a worry in the sky. (Color version below.)

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For the Birders (Brooklyn, NY)

a blackbird sitting in a phalanx of branches of mostly bare trees in spring
A male red-winged blackbird turns a cold shoulder to the camera. Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York. (Black and white version)

Bird photography is something (1) I wish I was better at, and (2) I wish I was more interested in. Unfortunately, they cannot seem to win my eye from the bugs and their kin, which is probably why I have no appreciably improved bird shooting skills. I also don’t have ideal gear for it, but c’est la vie.

I’m posting these because I (sort of) like them. The branches in the first image get me — there’s something ordered in the chaotic tangle — whereas the second image (see below) is more about the color. For me, anyway. I feel like the first is, if not a good or notable photo, is at least coherent. Less sure about the second one, but it really was a challenge with a 35mm lens (if memory serves) and all those branches.

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